We can't multitask, I know as women we are very proud of this attribute, but I'm going to disillusion many as well as please you guys, because whilst we can all simple multitask, such as walking and talking. But when it comes to things like –
Texting and watching TV
Walking and Talking
Writing an email and listening to someone talking
We can't pay our full, undivided attention to more than one task at a time.
We actually mind switch, which means when trying to do more complex tasks we are likely to miss parts of it. I'm sure there have been times when you have missed parts of what someone has said.
It's crazy because in the business world it's a given - expected. You are expected to provide immediate results, and carrying out just one task at a time is seen as being underproductive. The pressure is applied externally as well as internally.
Juggling your inbox, text messages, meetings, reports, customer queries………….the list goes on.
What happens is it affects your ability to focus on one thing for any length of time, when you have the time to do so. It becomes a habit, and instead of taking your time to do one thing really well, you skim read, or scan documents, meaning you could be missing vital information.
In an attempt to multitask, you may mishear part of what your boss asked you to do, which could mean missing an important meeting or a deadline you are expected to complete.
Fear of Missing Out
We can so easily become addicted to checking the news, social media, emails- yes, addicted! Check how many times you pick up your phone, or messages on your laptop.
YOUR BRAIN BECOMES FATIGUED
Is it any wonder that many people are unable to switch off? That they have sleep issues. You have trained your brain to keep jumping from one task to another and it gets overworked, and then fatigued. Causing headaches, stress, anxiety, work-related stress, and much more.
Prioritize and Discipline
To alleviate the situation, prioritise your workload. Just concentrate on one task at a time, and slow down. You are less likely to make mistakes. Set up a routine as to how often you check and respond to emails, texts, messages. Instead of feeling you have to check every few minutes, make it once or twice a day. Turn off notifications wherever possible, to reduce distractions, and the temptation to keep checking.
Your personal and family life is likely to be adversely affected too. Sometimes as a result of your brain being so exhausted Because your brain is so overloaded you are likely to have less energy for all the good things – one of the reasons you go to work, which is to enable you to have money to enjoy your life.
Being overstretched, you are more likely to forget important events, celebrations. You may miss out on your child's school play, their birthday party, or just too exhausted to enjoy any of them. You are constantly tired, but at the same time unable to sleep, because your brain won't switch off!
You have completely missed what your partner told you, which often leads to arguments. they will be convinced they have told you about an upcoming family event, and you are equally convinced they haven't.
If you don't believe me when I say we can't complex multi-task – try it. Try writing an email or text whilst watching TV, and giving each your complete attention. You will mind-switch, missing parts of each out.
Even better, and to save misunderstandings, and arguments - ensure you pay full attention, and stop kidding yourself you can do both