Top 3 Risks of Multitasking

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We live in a data rich, tactile rich, visual rich, audio rich environment that never stops. We are rewarded, or so it seems for multitasking at work and in our lives. And every gadget seems to give us the sense of improved productivity while multitasking. Our brains apparently cannot focus on two let alone three things at a time. Focus switching is an appropriate term to use when we think of multitasking. Our brain acts very much like wifi in this regard. Wifi quickly switches between multiple connections to serve each computer, phone, tablet, etc. It switches so quickly and so fluidly that you would never know. But, each unit does have a limit and the demand will slow down the connections for all. Much like our Wifi, when we divide our attention we don’t do any of them well.

multitasking

  1. Health Risks

Believe it or not, studies have shown that multitasking leads to deterioration of memory and possibly Alzheimer’s. Live in the moment! Focus on each task and apparently your memory will improve!

  1. Social Risks

My wife says I multitask, constantly. That is not far from the truth, even if a little bit of an exaggeration. But, multitasking in public also has risks to your health. Stop reading email and walk across the street. Stay in one piece.

  1. Work Risks

How often have you been in a meeting or on a conference call and you are answering an email question at the same time. Do we really have to answer every email while in another meeting? Have you ever been caught by a question while you clearly were not focused?

But, one much more important rule is to give members of your team full attention. When a member of your team seeks your help, stop what you are doing and give them your undivided attention. Never say “ I’m listening, while you continue to type away.” Give them the respect they deserve. Or risk losing their respect.

Given all of this information, is there any possible way to get away from Multitasking?

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3 thoughts on “Top 3 Risks of Multitasking

  1. Hi Kyomi. Good post. I personally believed that nowadays “Multi-tasking’ is the name of the game”. I know it has been connected to lots of risk you mentioned above but everybody seems guilty of doing it. I guess we should just not overdo it. We should always to say to ourselves…..focus….focus….focus. Another alternative is to take some Ritalin to take care of our “Hyper activeness or our undiagnosed ADHD”.

  2. Great post. Multitasking is so tempting especially when you can open multiple tabs in your browser, multiple apps at a time, surf the net while checking texts and watching tv… It seems to never end. In addition to the risks you mentioned I feel that it also comes at a cost to stress levels and social as well as mental health.

  3. I think the way to get away from multitasking is to let Mother Nature take her course; studies have also shown that the ability to multitask diminishes with age. Something to do with fewer synapses or some other agist concept. So now I have an excuse. Reminds me of an item on NPR a few years ago about one city building a dedicated sidewalk for those who text while they are walking; seems they kept bumping into things and walking into the street in front of on-coming cars.

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