How do we stop ourselves from multitasking? How many of us lose focus because we look at our phones, check our emails or reply to text messages whilst trying to complete another task?
A University of Utah study found that 98% of us simply cannot multitask and researchers at Stanford University found that people who are regularly bombarded with multiple forms of communication are really paying attention to only one item at a time.
The Effects of Organisational Multitasking
Multitasking hurts productivity because multitasking workers don’t focus on the job at hand which leads to a reduction in the quality of their work. This is particularly true for managers who multitask because even small decisions take too long to respond to and instead of spending a short amount of quality time with employees; they often come back with a rushed and ineffective response.
Train your brain
Many people find it difficult to focus on one task, but there are things you can do to improve your focus:
Turn off notifications on your phone or laptop so that you can concentrate effectively
Lists are a great way to focus and prioritise tasks. Write a list of the most important tasks you need to complete and work on them in that order.
Cluttertasking – yes this is a thing! Instead of allowing yourself to check your email throughout the day, only schedule yourself certain moments to do so. For instance, only look at your emails first thing in the morning when you get into the office and then again before you leave.
Track your day. Keeping a log or journal can help identify patterns of when you work at your maximum output or when you get distracted.
Don’t get distracted by multitasking. Focus on the important things, one at a time, and you will find it is easier to move up to the next level in both your professional and personal life.