Multitasking is a bad idea

Multitasking is a bad idea. It makes you feel more productive, but instead diminishes your quality AND quantity of outputs significantly compared to focusing on a single task at a time

While those who multitasked felt more productive, their productivity actually decreased – a lot (Wang and Tchernev 2012; Rosen 2008; Ophir, Nass, and Wagner 2009). Not only the quantity but also the quality of their accomplishments lagged significantly behind that of the control group.

When we think we are multitasking, what we are actually doing is quickly switching between multiple task. This fatigues us & drains our ability to focus on any particular task for a certain about of time. Resulting in poorer perfermance over time.

But still we do it. Why?

  1. We lack immediate feedback of how worse we are performing and
  2. Mere-Exposure Effect: Doing a certain activity multiple times makes you believe that you are getting better at it, regardless of the actual performance.

As Cal Newport suggested, our ability to focus deeply on a single task is at risk. Continuous task switching (Multi-tasking), frequent distractions from social media & instant messaging apps, the endless lure of cheap dopamine on the internet, robs our ability to sustain attention.

So what do we do about it?

Let’s explore about it tomorrow.

Let's continue the discussion 💬

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