In today’s world, where everyone is seemingly out with a “can-do” mindset, it becomes extremely easy to try to take on many different projects at once – often, not even knowing how to handle the increased load. I’m sure you can attest to at one time simply being too overloaded by the many things that you have to do, regretting the fact that you have picked up that third job, or agreed to help out a friend move, thinking you could do a class paper while there.
We like to believe that we can do two things simultaneously, allowing us to blast through both things in half the time it should normally take. But of course, I am sure you can attest that multitasking often doesn’t get you anywhere.
Well, that’s because the whole concept of multitasking is already flawed in its very core. Think about it: it doesn’t actually mean you’re simultaneously doing multiple tasks at once. You aren’t answering emails and filling out paperwork at the same time. Instead, what is most likely happening is that you are trying to juggle both tasks.
You are probably answering one email, and then filling a few lines of paperwork, then answering another email, and then filling a few more lines of paperwork. But that doesn’t mean you’re actually getting things done faster.
Look at it this way: if both tasks take twenty minutes each, you are simply slowly chipping away at each task. An email doesn’t take a shorter amount of time to write if you’re multitasking, and neither is the time you need to fill in that paperwork. But you are most likely taking more time as well just because you need to actively switch your focus between the two (or more!) tasks you are doing, and are cutting the flow of your work.
Don’t multitask. It’s flawed. It will get you nowhere. It will take more time.