Today's Multitasking Addiction Is Killing Productivity

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Multitaskers Are Not Created Equally

The experience of multitasking is not the same for all people, and understanding your relationship with multitasking can be helpful in your quest to overcome it. 

According to the American Psychological Association, there are four common types of multitaskers:

  • You're approach-oriented or reward-focused. Your brain says "If I do more work at once, I can complete more work at once." It makes sense, but doesn't work.
  • You're a high-sensation seeker. These are people who use multitasking to fight boredom (or because of boredom). By shifting focus periodically, you keep your mind engaged with a new task.
  • You're convinced you're part of the 2 percent of people who can multitask effectively. It's normal for us to think we're better at multitasking than we are. Be cognizant of your actual productivity, and see if you're really as good as you think.
  • You have trouble focusing. You may not be multitasking intentionally. Use technology as a tool for focus, rather than distraction. Mute your notifications, minimize your tabs, and avoid your inbox while focusing on work.

Most people are not proficient multitaskers (otherwise known as supertaskers). You are either one of the 2 percent or you're not — there's no gray area in between. 

The chaos of the modern workday creates constant pressure to multitask. We respond to emails during meetings, hold conference calls while driving, and reply to a constant inbound stream of messages while dealing with our workload. From email and chat notifications to the siren song of social media, there is always somewhere else for our minds to wander. 

At first glance, this might seem like a good thing. Multitasking makes it possible to kill two birds with one stone, right? You discuss marketing strategy and catch up on your email at the same time. However, research now shows that multitasking is a serious drain on productivity. Rather than doing two things at once, it causes us to do two things badly, and perhaps create more work for ourselves down the road. 

In today's fast-moving, always-on office environment, employees and managers alike have to understand the high cost of multitasking. Shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone's productive time. That is a massive sum, and one that can't be ignored. In this slideshow, Andrew Filev, CEO of Wrike, delves deeper into the havoc multitasking can wreak on productivity and what you can do about it. 

 

Related Topics : Vulnerabilities and Patches, Resellers, Broadcom, Broadband Services, Supercomputing

 
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