Do you check social media while trying to write? Do you read emails while talking on the phone?
Our fast-paced society smiles on multitasking. Our lives are so full, that there are books and seminars dedicated to teaching people how to “do more in less time.” But, does it really work?
The Myth of Multitasking
The belief that multitasking helps us do more is really a myth. Studies reveal that multitasking is not what is claims to be.
1. Multitasking Lowers Productivity
In a time where everyone is trying to do more with the time allotted to us each day (everyone gets just 24 hours), studies show that multitasking does not help us be more productive. Research conducted by Stanford University found that people who multitask are actually less productive than those who focus on one task at a time.
2. Multitasking has a Negative Impact on our Brain Functioning
A study performed by the University of Sussex found that multitasking with digital devices may actually damage the brain. The study found that “people who used a higher number of media devices concurrently had smaller grey matter density in the part of the brain known as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the region notably responsible for cognitive and emotional control functions.”
3. Multitasking Can Lead to Burnout
Multitasking can cause mental exhaustion. According to Dr. Natalia Peart, clinical psychologist, founder and CEO of Catalyst Innovation Group, and author of “FutureProofed, we multitask as a way to dig ourselves out of the cycle of stress and burnout that is plaguing so many of us today, but instead, it is doing quite the opposite—it just makes our stress and burnout even worse.
Do Less and Accomplish More
Many authors are extremely busy individuals. We have jobs and families in addition to writing and marketing our books. It is easy for us to fall prey to the myth of multitasking. Here are two solutions to combat multitasking and accomplish more.
1. Serial Task
Serial task is just what is sounds like. Do one thing at a time. Focus on the one thing. Studies show that we can immerse ourselves in a task that takes a lot of mental attention for about one hour. After about an hour our productivity starts to wane, unless we take a break. You can use these breaks check your social media accounts or responding to text messages or emails—the things you would normally try to do while multitasking.
2. Recharge Regularly
In our fast-paced economy, we tend to turn to caffeine and sugar to give us energy to keep us going. In reality, our minds and bodies are asking for a break. It is important to take time to recharge your energy regularly.
To recharge your energy daily, take small amounts of time do leisure activities that you enjoy such as exercise, reading, playing a musical instrument, gardening, or cooking. However, these increments of daily time are only one piece of the equation for recharging regularly.
God, in his wisdom, created the Sabbath—one day a week for rest. Our creator knows that we need regular time to rest and recharge. Taking a Sabbath helps clear the debris that is clogging our connection to the Spirit, allowing us to be renewed spiritually—and also energizing us to continue to write God’s message.
Don’t neglect taking a day to rest weekly. You will be better—and more productive—for it.
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