If you have little faith in your ability to do more than one thing at a time, science reveals you’re onto something.
Research into cognitive behavioural has shone a light on our inability to multi-task, we simply cannot perform multiple tasks at the same level of skill that we would if we were to perform just one task at a time.
The old adage that women are better at multi-tasking may after all be untrue—or more accurately reflect an ability to work with less efficiency.
The processes we go through when trying to multi-task are a lot more complex than we may realise. When we try to do more than one thing at a time, we experience temporary mental blanks which occur every time we switch our focus between tasks. We lose microseconds every time.
And that’s not all. We then have to get up to speed on the second task and by the time we revert back to the original task, our brains can take up to 15 minutes to refocus.
It’s seemingly more efficient to focus on one task with as few interruptions as possible.
In today’s digital age, the tools we use at work can be disruptions in themselves. If you work at a computer, a constant stream of emails or instant messages can constantly distract your focus throughout the day.
If you’re able to allocate time to focus on specific tasks, you may be able to switch off your email program or set your instant messaging status to “do not disturb” while you’re focussing on a task. Just remember to make yourself available when you’re free again.
Our smart phones give us the convenience of 24/7 connectivity, but this also means constant interruptions, leading us to spend less and less time on focussed activities.
If you’re able to work with minimal interruption you can be more productive. You’ll get more done in less time, and because you’re spending less energy switching from one task to another, you may experience less stress.
It’s worth considering how you could possibly change the way you do certain things. Can you start by deciding on the most important tasks you want to achieve and designate uninterrupted time for them?
If your work day is naturally disruptive, you may need to spend time either side of the day getting important tasks done.
Sometimes, all it takes is proactive communication with others so those you work with understand that you’re aiming to get more done. You may even help your colleagues become more focussed and productive by letting them know how multi-tasking can get in the way of work!
If you’d like to achieve more financially, start a conversation with us today. There’s no need to multi-task when you have our team behind you. We can help you prioritise the most important things you want to focus on so you can achieve your goals.
You need to consider with your financial planner (or adviser), your objectives, financial situation and your particular needs prior to making an investment decision. Sensibly Pty Ltd and its authorised representatives (or credit representatives) do not accept liability for any errors or omissions of information supplied on this website
Nick Shanley, Steve May, Luke Styles and Shanley Financial Planning T/A Steve May Financial Services are Authorised Representatives / Corporate Authorised Representative of Sensibly Pty Ltd, AFSL 533923. Please refer to our website at www.stevemayfs.com.au to reference our Financial Services Guides.
Shanley Financial Planning Pty Ltd trading as Steve May Financial Services (ABN 19 612 825 180) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of (1265706) of Sensibly Pty Ltd (AFSL 533923)
Nick Shanley, Steve May and Luke Styles are Authorised Representatives of Sensibly Pty Ltd (AFSL 533923)