Are you able to do a hundred things at once? Can you make a French omelet while doing the accounting for your company and polishing your living room table? Can you play the violin, the triangle, and the piano at the same time?
That’s fine; in fact, it’s very impressive, and there are occasions when we have no choice but to do it, or at least attempt to do it. Furthermore, we can save a significant amount of time when we multitask.
Multitasking, on the other hand, may not always be as useful as it appears. That’s because dividing our attention among numerous things can ostensibly reduce the quality with which we do each one.
According to several research, when we “multitask,” we perform tasks as if our IQ were 10 points lower than it is. So, how are you going to make the ideal omelet while keeping your triangle clean and full of flavor?
As we have said, the multiple activities in which we immerse ourselves in our daily lives make it hard to not multitask. However, we can find some tricks to stop doing it. Do you want to take a look at them?
How bad really is multitasking?
It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.
Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work, and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.
This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.
We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for our attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.
8 tips to stop multitasking
Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:
Get good rest
Getting a good rest increases your productivity in general, but you will also notice the effects when you multitask. The more well-rested you are, the more energy you will have to carry out your activities and the more concentrated you will be.
On the other hand, it is unlikely that you will have to deal with lots of backlogs, which is the main reason why we usually need to multitask. So, now you know what you should do: sleep well and rest when you need it.
Start eating healthy
Yes, we know this is another one of those tips that are used in general, but that is not reason enough to ignore it.
Eating healthy gives you energy and strength, and that improves both your concentration and your productivity. And if you eat at the appropriate times, that will be even better.
Put another way, if you eat that roast beef that you are looking at with greedy eyes, it is most likely that you will waste your afternoon, which later will make you rush and start to multitask.
Plan your tasks
That is the purpose of planning: helping us carry out our tasks better. Organizing the tasks that we plan on doing is good for our state of mind because that helps us to concentrate.
Do you not know how to do it? Do not think it is that hard. Sometimes, something as simple as keeping an agenda will come in handy. Besides, you will be able to use it to take notes, which will also help you to be organized.
Look for a suitable environment to work
Sometimes, it will not be easy, but every now and then, you’ll be enduring noise, heat, or inadequate lighting, simply because you did not bother to look for a better place.
Bad environmental conditions decrease our concentration and make us stop “focusing” and multitask. But remember that they also make us become less productive. Are those reasons not enough to make you look for a better workspace?
Do not check your cell phone constantly
The smartphone is one of the universal wastes of time.
Although we may not be aware of it most of the time, we can end up spending a large amount of time every day on activities that usually tend to be unnecessary, such as answering text messages or checking social networks just for entertainment.
And by the end of the day, wasting our time can cause a huge backlog of work which will activate our multitask mode, implying some negative consequences.
Say “no” when necessary
Sometimes, we are played for fools. Have you become that partner to whom everyone asks for favors? Then perhaps you should put an end to it, or otherwise, your health will suffer the consequences.
We all have work to do, and you do not need to take care of someone else’s. But, of course, that does not mean that you should not lend a helping hand from time to time. Apply common sense and do not take care of tasks that do not belong to you systematically.
Focus on your work
When you are at work your objective should be working, not watching some videos about grandma doing pole vault or buying your chihuahua t-shirts online.
Multitasking at work is usually a bad idea, and even worse if the tasks that you are doing have nothing to do with work. Such distractions will prevent you from concentrating on what is really important.
In addition, wasting your time could force you to keep working at home to finish your tasks. Does it not seem like a bad idea?
Use little tricks to concentrate
Despite everything we have talked about, do you feel the overwhelming need to watch videos or check your cell phone?
Stop right there, take a deep breath and go back to the task that you were doing. Do it whenever necessary and you will see how, little by little, you find it easier. In time, you may even stop needing it.
So far, we have seen some tips that could help you to stay focused and allow you to multitask less, which could become overwhelming and exhausting.