Why do some thoughtful companies and productive employees say goodbye to multitasking? It seems like multitasking should be a productive tool at work, right? Although multitasking may appear to be beneficial but in reality it has a serious impact on performance and productivity. Research shows it can reduce your productivity level by almost 40%. It also increases workers’ stress levels. This goes for everyone, including managers with busy schedules, supervisors, and ordinary personnel in the workforce.
That’s why leading companies, big and small are training their workers to reduce or avoid multitasking.
Across the board, multitasking comes highly unrecommended. Though there are plentiful reasons why, three of the most important reasons to say goodbye to multitasking are:
- our brains can’t handle it, 2. it compromises work quality, and 3. it decreases efficiency.
1.Our Brains are Incapable of Multitasking
At the foundation of it all, our brains do not have the capacity to accurately focus on more than one task at a time. Because multitasking requires your mind to alternate between different things, it can cause your brain to malfunction.
This means that your cognitive processes will not be as attentive or susceptible to new information. Though you may feel confident that you’re getting a lot done, in reality you are losing touch with your priorities:
- You may finish multiple tasks at once, but you cannot rank their importance
- The brain cannot give balanced values when multitasking
- This means that you can overlook top priorities and lose sight of objectives
2. Compromised Work Quality
When you are multitasking, you often become overwhelmed with your workload, and this leads to taking shortcuts. Though you may be the first to complete a task, it will severely reduce its quality. Even worse is that the more we cheat by taking these shortcuts, the more likely we are to make a habit of it.
Another consequence of multitasking is that it kills creativity. Your mind needs a certain amount of free space in order to think in the abstract, and if you’re multitasking you won’t have any room left over. If this happens, there likely won’t be producing any innovate ideas, which is essential in worklife.
3. Decreased Efficiency
Finally, multitasking can have a negative impact on efficiency. Research shows that the more tasks you try to tackle at once, the less efficiently they will be completed. Because the goal of multitasking is to improve efficiency, this is very counterproductive.
Multitasking and Stress
Consistent multitasking can really wipe out a worker, which further hinders your progress. The added stress can lead to:
- Inability for critical thinking
- Burnout (being exhausted from the constant heavy workload)
- Inability to problem-solve
- Inhibition of abstract thinking
It is impossible to fully apply yourself to your job if you attempt to multitask, as it can wear down on your mind and body. In this state, you will become far less efficient that you would be if you tackled one at a time.
The bottom line is that multitasking is not sustainable for several reasons. Some of these are subsequent brain impairments, decreased work quality, and reduced efficiency. Though it may be good in theory, multitasking will cause more harm than good.