The Mindful Leader: mental strategy #1: the risks of multitasking

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Increasing workloads and tight deadlines are a big challenge in today’s workplace. If we don’t have effective tools to deal with these pressures the result is often emotional, mental and physical imbalance. Both in our professional as well as our personal life.

We tend to believe that by doing several things at the same time we can better handle the amount of information in front of us and get more done. Wrong. Our brains are best designed to focus on one task at the time. When we switch between tasks, especially complex ones, we become less efficient. Research shows that tasks can even take 30% longer to be completed and that we make more mistakes when we do 2 things at the same time. The delay comes from the fact that our brains need to switch gears all the time when we swop between 2 tasks. And that takes time.

Next to that multi-tasking hampers creativity, it makes us anxious, we are less efficient, less focused and the quality of our work reduces. We have less overview and it drains our energy. On top of everything else it can be quite addictive to multitask. Think of checking our smartphone constantly while we are in the middle of doing something else.

So if multitasking isn’t the answer to our workloads, what is?
Mental strategy no. 1, practicing PRESENCE:

  • Focus on what you choose
  • Choose your distractions mindfully

See what happens…

Source: The Potential Project Singapore