Do you multitask? Have you been in a meeting and . . . checked e-mails – sent a text? Are you one of those drivers who are on the phone? Multitasking is when one tries to perform two tasks simultaneously in rapid succession. Multitasking may seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and involve more errors.
If you want to improve the quality of your work, lower your stress levels and become more efficient, then you need get out of the multitasking habit. Multitasking doesn't work because you can't actually focus on more than one task at a time. You can't speak to someone and write a really clear and focused email at the same time.
Eliminating distractions makes a tremendous difference in our ability to focus. Distractions are costly: A temporary shift in attention from one task to another—stopping to answer an email or take a phone call, for instance—increased the amount of time necessary to finish the primary task by as much as 25 percent, a phenomenon known as “switching time.” According to productivity experts Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy.
Another major downside to multitasking is the effect it has on your stress levels. Dealing with multiple things at once makes you feel overwhelmed, drained and frazzled.
In order to change that multitasking habit, you need to be honest with yourself. Everyone has a limited amount of time, attention and energy. Managing the pressure to be efficient means intentionally making choices about where to spend your time, attention and energy. The challenge is to do one thing at a time with focused attention.
Unless you prefer the chaos of simultaneous inattention, break the multitasking habit. Think of how satisfied you’ll feel when you devote your full attention to one task. You're able to focus and you'll probably finish it feeling as if you've not only completed something, but done it well.
EASE encourages you to take small steps in breaking this habit. Focus your attention and tell yourself - first things first. Take a deep breathing break to restore energy. Listen to music instead of talking on the phone while driving.
EASE is available to meet with you. Call 1-800-882-1341 to schedule an appointment.