Updated: Jun 16
In yesterday's post, I shared with you why it's better to concentrate on just one thing at work if you want to feel calmer. I gave you a few examples of the benefits of single-tasking. Today, I'd like to elaborate on that a bit. Multi-tasking truly is becoming an epidemic in our society that's causing stress, lost productivity, and less quality work, among other issues. This isn't just my opinion. Research shows that there are genuine dangers of multi-tasking. Let's take a look at some of the ways this pressure to do more in less time can hurt you, both physically and mentally.
It's been demonstrated that people who multi-task the most are actually more distractible than those who do so less frequently. The constant switching from one task to another can lead to difficulty in determining which interruptions are important and which aren't. When this happens, your brain can be pulled off task by any minor distraction.
More Physical Accidents
In terms of physically harmful results, multi-tasking can lead to an increase in careless errors which increase risks of accidents. In fact, one study of 1,400 New York City pedestrians who had been hit by vehicles demonstrated that a jarring percentage were using their cell phones when they were hit.
Quickly moving from one activity to another on a regular basis negatively impacts short-term memory, which can lead to memory problems overtime. This negative impact on memory can cause you to miss important details and can cause damage to your general ability to accurately recall information.
One area where a lot of people multi-task is during mealtime. It doesn't take a lot of cognitive effort to eat, so many people figure, why not get something else done at the same time? Unfortunately, this habit of multi-tasking at meals can be detrimental to your health. This is because, when your mind is focused elsewhere, it can’t process exactly what or how much you’ve eaten, thus making it easy not to notice when you’re full and overeat.
Multi-tasking takes attention away from the person you're with, which can strike your loved ones as hurtful or rude. Additionally, multi-tasking impairs actual communication. If you find yourself paying attention to other things while spending time with the people who are important to you, you run the risk of damaging those relationships. If you want to demonstrate value of your relationships, its a wise idea to limit multi-tasking when you’re spending time with them.
These are a few of the ways in which multi-tasking can actually hurt you and increase stress in your life. Keep them in mind the next time you're tempted to try to do two things at once.
Blessings & Love,