Multitasking is pervasive in our society and it may make us feel like better because it may seem that by multitasking, one is being more productive. However, multitasking actually often leads to subpar work and added stress. According to a study by the Journal of Communication, researchers found that people will multitask if they need to work, study, or complete habitual tasks. The researchers found, however, that multitasking was not effective in fulfilling these obligations. Researchers did find that emotional needs were met by multitasking, such as having fun, relaxing, or entertaining.
Why is multitasking inefficient?
Multitasking takes a toll on your mental energy, especially if the tasks are difficult ones. People work slower when switching between tasks than when repeating the same task. Even when given an ample amount of time between tasks, the brain still functions better when focused on one task at a time. The brain can adjust to a new task, but the former task you were working on is still competing for mental energy for you to complete the new task at hand. Navigating back and forth between tasks tends to cause stress and can take up a lot of your mental energy.
It may be more efficient and less stress-inducing to focus on a single task at a time. Studies show that focusing on a single task lessens stress and allows you to focus your mental energy solely at the task at hand, which will tend to lead you to doing more productive work than you would if you were focusing your energy while trying to juggle several tasks at once. By focusing on one task at a time, you may actually save time and energy, and turn out more productive work for each task you complete.
Focusing on one thing at a time is best
Although multitasking may at first seem more efficient or often necessary, taking the time to focus on one task or project at hand may be healthier for you and your work in the long run. By focusing the majority of your energy on a single task or project at a time, you allow yourself the opportunity to focus and work on it and complete it without the distraction of other looming tasks. Complete your task to the best of your abilities, and move on to the next pressing task.
By completing projects or tasks one at a time, you allow yourself to give each task your full attention and reduce mental stress. It may in fact feel emotionally better after seeing that by uni-tasking, you may produce better work in a more organized fashion without the overwhelmed feelings and subpar or unfinished work that are often caused a result of multitasking.