The Multitasking Fallacy…
Most people who juggle multiple projects on a day-to-day basis think that they're more productive. This is because doing more is seen as a valuable skill by some, including the person doing it.
However, the reality is very different. Focusing on more things does not mean you're more productive. It just means you're busier. Being busy and productive and two distinctly very different things.
Being busy is about adding to your workload, thereby working harder while being productive is about working smarter. Being busy is rushing around like a headless chicken…
…while being productive is about being in the moment like a tiger ready to pounce on its prey. Which one you rather be? Busier or more productive?
If it's the latter, you must understand what will cost you if you switch back to busy more and go off multitasking.
It can take more than 25 minutes to resume a task after being interrupted. Do that a couple of times a day, and that's a couple of hours you'll never get back.
Time, of course, waits for no man or woman. Distractions actively limit your ability to focus, and without deep focus, you can't be productive. It's a rat race you can't win.
Naturally, you can't do your best work when your mind is dipping in and out of search engines, apps, Facebook posts, YouTube videos and telephone conversations and emails. For every action, there is a reaction.
Unfortunately, productivity always comes off worse when you buzz around like a busy bee!
Still don't believe me?
Take a small test:
- Draw two horizontal lines on a piece of paper.
- Take out the timer on your phone and hit “start” and follow the directions below:
- On the first line, write:
– I am great at multitasking
- On the second line, write out the numbers 1-20 sequentially, like those below:
o 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
- Press stop on your timer.
How much time did it take to do the two tasks? Usually, it's about 20 – 30 seconds.
Now, let's do some multitasking.
Draw two more horizontal lines again, and reset your timer. Write a letter on one line, and then a number on the line below and switch back and forth until you've written the sentence and the numbers out again in full:
I'll bet my house on it that your time has at least doubled or more what it was on the first round.
That's multitasking, but it really is “switch tasking” and on something very simple, and it still became a longer drawn-out task. That is exactly what happens when you attempt too many things (busy bee) simultaneously.
Hopefully, now you fully understand why multitasking is stealing your time and costing you valuable hours in productivity.
Sadly that’s all our time for today. I’ll be back in the next post though where we are going to discuss time and how to control it better…you’ll see!
Dominus Owen Markham