How do you get it all done, but not feel frazzled at the end of the day? Multiple studies have shown that multi-tasking doesn't work. Really.
In 2005, the BBC reported on a research study, funded by Hewlett-Packard and conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, that found, “Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.”
I know that so many people think that they are GREAT multi-taskers. That they are really getting it all done better/faster, but the studies show that our accuracy, attention and ability to do something well is seriously impaired when we do two things at once.
Admit it, you check your email when you are on the phone. You text at the dinner table. You scan Twitter when you are watching TV. You half listen, half talk, and half do. We are all doing that, but what is missing is that we aren't capturing the flow - that illusive creative energy that comes from diving into a project and getting lost in it. That moment is when great work happens.
I am currently experimenting in single tasking. I shut the computer when I am talking on the phone. I put the iPad down when my husband is talking to me. Sure, I could be updating a status, commenting on some wardrobe mishap I see, snapping a photo, or distracting myself with technology.
But what if I spent real time, even a few minutes really listening to what my clients needed. Could I respond with clarity? That is the quest I'm on. Read AJ Jacobs recent article for Real Simple, 30 days to becoming a single tasker, or how he stopped the madness.
"It’s really a life-or-death problem―no exaggeration. The culture of distraction is rewiring our brains, making us less happy, less able to connect with people and form a conscience. Multitasking makes us feel efficient. But it’s an insane delusion; it actually just slows our thinking down. Our brains can’t handle more than one higher cognitive function at a time."
Inspired? I am!