Have you heard about Julius Caesar’s phenomenal multitasking skills? Allegedly, he could read, talk and listen to people simultaneously without a struggle. Everyone probably wanted such ability at least at one point in their life. With the significant amount of work today, finishing several tasks at once seems like a blessing. But is multitasking a positive thing in the long run? Let’s find out together!
What Is Multitasking?
The initial stage of studying multitasking is understanding its nature. By definition multi tasking means doing multiple tasks at the same time. Many believe that only geniuses can accomplish more than one task at once. However, you might possess and use this important skill regularly without realizing it. How do you multitask? Here are examples of doing multiple tasks together:
- Watching television and eating popcorn
- Taking notes at lectures and listening to music through headphones
- Driving a car and drinking coffee
- Taking a walk and talking to a friend by phone
- Cleaning while keeping an eye on children
- Singing and dancing during a performance
The list goes on and on, but you get a general idea. The thing about multitasking psychology is that doing more than one task is a necessary measure. It means that circumstances force people to multitask excessively and raise stress levels. That is why analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of multitasking is essential.
Is It Good to Be a Multitasker?
Is multitasking bad for us? Like any other matter, the theme of multitasking causes heated debates. Because the human brain sometimes struggles to keep mental focus, some experts encourage people to stop multitasking. Meanwhile, other scientists can see only the benefits of multitasking without any negative effects. They believe that constant practice improves such an ability.
Indeed, the truth is somewhere in between. Everybody’s brain copes with complex tasks in daily life differently. So, if your overall efficiency only increases when you perform multiple tasks, congratulations! In some cases, multitasking helps to save time.
Is Multitasking Good for Productivity?
When people discuss the advantages and disadvantages of multitasking, they mostly refer to its effectiveness. Usually, there is a correlation between multitasking and productivity. But how exactly do they connect? According to scientists, doing too many tasks at once decreases productivity.
Multiple tests have proven that doing one specific task works better than combining two or more tasks. For example, let’s say that a person is studying for a master’s degree while babysitting a toddler. It sounds like it would cause excessive stress, right? Once the multitasker tries to memorize information, the child interrupts them. So, in the long run, multitasking increases productivity very rarely.
Multitasking Psychology: Does Multitasking Make You Stressed?
An even greater disadvantage than productivity decline is mental health drop. Some benefits of multitasking such as saving time or costs only help in a short period. Meanwhile, in perspective, you can gain higher stress levels and sleep problems. Eventually, all the attempts to multitask negatively affect the human brain.
Researchers explain that stress multitasking is harmful, like doing several jobs or even multiple simple tasks. Challenging your brain like this on a regular basis leads to various diseases. On the other hand, everyone knows that stress kills, so focusing on one task at a time is beneficial. At least, health is more important than saving time and productivity.
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How Do You Handle Multitasking?
If you have to multitask under certain circumstances and constantly ask yourself ‘how do you handle multitasking’, elevate your multitasking skills by using these tips:
- Make a To-Do List
Writing a to-do list with different tasks helps to evaluate your ability to finish them. You can even rank the activities by their importance.
- Set Realistic Deadlines
Be honest with yourself when it comes to time management. If an assignment requires two hours, never try to squeeze it into one hour.
- Avoid Distractions
With all the modern technology, it becomes hard to accomplish something without quick social media breaks. Putting your phone away prevents procrastination!
How Can You Multitask Without Stress?
Since statistics on multitasking demonstrate high levels of stress, change your routine to eliminate stress. Use the following techniques:
- Allow Yourself to Err
Often, multitasking makes people act too fast and miss something wrong. Sadly, frustration leads to making more mistakes. So, instead, be less hard on yourself about these things. In the long run, imperfections mean that you at least do something.
- Take Rest
Many studies on multitasking productivity discuss the inefficiency of performing more than one task at a time. Indeed, without high productivity, multitasking has no point. So, go on short breaks to let your brain chill. The ability to balance work and rest is crucial!
- Do Something You Like
If you have many tasks that are quite stressful, do something pleasant. For instance, a secretary at the front desk can drink their favorite tea during other tasks.
Pros of Multitasking: Why Does Multitasking Make You Feel Good?
Multitasking is one of the personal skills that some develop purposefully. Despite the possible disadvantages of multitasking, its pros still attract many people. Do you want to know the benefits of multitasking? Then, learn why multitasking makes you feel good.
Performing Multiple Tasks Simultaneously Saves Time
The first and main reason to combine two tasks or more is the need for more time. There are various types of multitaskers: housewives, office workers, students, teachers, etc.
What do they have in common? Most likely, these individuals have burning deadlines with more and more tasks added to the list. Because multitasking and productivity often correlate, people prefer doing more than one task at a time.
Doing Two or More Tasks Reduces Procrastination
The brain is the most mysterious body part. Still, we know that it sometimes prevents a person from completing chores. In other words, human nature makes us procrastinate, and fighting this urge is hard. People often experience times when they must finish burdensome assignments. Instead, they do everything except for this one task.
Under such circumstances, multitasking makes you feel good. If you, for example, struggle to write an essay, try doing two tasks. Put calm music in the background, and the desire to procrastinate might disappear!
Performing Several Tasks at Once Can Save Money
People often discuss multitasking efficiency in the context of studies or housework. However, it also becomes a big deal in the workplace. Some managers believe that multitasking benefits the working process and saves financial resources. How exactly does this happen in companies?
Employee salaries are undeniably huge expenditures for a business. One of the ways to save costs here is to have fewer employees. However, these people would naturally have more responsibilities. If they manage to combine technical and interpersonal skills, the company wins!
Cons of Multitasking: Why Is Multitasking Bad?
While one person loves how multitasking benefits their life, the other thinks of the negative effects of multitasking. The same conditions work differently for everybody, and there is no universal success formula. The truth is, you can find out if multitasking fits you only upon trying it. Those who tried this method share their positive and negative experiences with others. So why is multitasking bad for some people? Here are the most popular complaints.
Reasons Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work
‘How do I and watch a TV show at once?’ a busy student asks. Well, there are ways to combine several activities if necessary. Yet, the outcome has a chance of being unpleasant. Despite multiple good sides, the cons of multitasking may overshadow the positive effects. Eventually, a student neither finishes their work nor enjoys the TV series. The following consequences of this method explains why multitasking doesn’t work.
Memory loss is indeed one of the biggest cons of multitasking. Everybody agrees that the brain's ability to remember information is necessary for normal existence. Without this function, a human’s quality of life significantly drops. Read our article about memory techniques that will help with multitasking.
Unfortunately, memory impairment is on the list of negative effects of multitasking. Studies have shown that chronic multitaskers have trouble recalling the objects they saw several minutes ago. Such results mean that pushing your brain to its limits damages essential functions.
Decrease in Creativity
The second thing that suffers from multitasking is imagination. What is the connection here? Usually, the source of brilliant ideas is non-stressful working conditions. A relaxed atmosphere helps artists to get into the state of flow, where they find inspiration. You probably know that dedicated writers or painters tend to lock themselves in their rooms for hours without distractions.
Contrarily, multitasking efficiency for creative people is questionable. When various duties need your attention, there is no time for artistry. Moreover, fresh ideas often require final touches later, so hurrying is ineffective.
Another reason why multitasking and productivity rarely go well together is the slowdown. At first sight, this plan sounds great. But, surprisingly, managing multiple tasks is hardly possible in real life. Which obstacle slows you down, then?
The essence of multitasking is in constant shifting from one activity to another. So, naturally, you require time whenever you refocus. The more often you change activities, the more minutes you spend on adjusting. On the contrary, single-tasking lets people pick up the work pace.
Besides the previous disadvantages, multitaskers risk having brain fog. Anyone who constantly works under pressure knows about it. For instance, imagine a woman who works remotely and does housework simultaneously. She might keep a steady pace, but the exhaustion finally catches up. No wonder, since the responsibilities rip the woman apart!
Eventually, this person needs more help understanding some work nuances. For her, multitasking efficiency slowly decreases. Instead, the best way here is to separate house duties from work. Such a change of strategy helps to regain professional skills and knowledge.
Additionally, negative effects of multitasking include too high a brain load. Translation from scientific into simple language reveals that excessive cognitive load equals an overheating brain. People compare this organ to a computer for a reason. For example, imagine that you open too many tabs on your laptop. Doing so causes lagging, glitching, and heating hardware.
By the same principle, a person’s mind can’t process too many operations simultaneously. Of course, everybody’s capacity is different, but too much pressure is always bad. Sadly, cognitive overloads lead to frustrations, tiredness, and hard decision-making.
Undeniably, errors are unavoidable for multitaskers. This statement isn’t an assumption since statistics on multitasking have proven this. Even the smartest people make mistakes related to multitasking.
First, juggling activities like balls in a circus is detrimental to your attention. Consequently, the inability to properly concentrate on one activity causes imperfections. Besides, hopping between tasks takes time that you usually use for check-ups. Finally, there is a risk of mixing up information from several sources. For instance, someone can write about their favorite actor in math homework.
The list of negative effects of multitasking is complete with losing focus. Everybody knows how exposure to modern social media applications hinders focusing abilities. People already have problems concentrating on something for a long time. On top of that, multitasking makes the situation more severe.
When people multitask every day, it has long-term consequences. In other words, such individuals suffer from defocusing even in low-stress circumstances. This problem happens because the mind rewires to shift attention more often.
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Is Singletasking Better Than Multitasking?
What is the purpose of analyzing the positive and negative sides of multitasking? In the end, a thorough study must show you the right path. Because multitasking efficiency is different for everybody, answer the following questions:
- Do I feel better doing one or multiple activities?
- Does my job require constant multitasking?
- What are my results after multitasking compared to single-tasking?
Giving honest answers to the mentioned questions helps to understand your mind better. Although most scientists insist on avoiding multitasking, always decide for yourself.
How to Manage Everything When Having More Than a Single Task?
Now you know the outcomes of doing many things together. Still, there is a need for a practical solution, especially if you are a student. Luck is on your side because you can delegate your assignments to others! With such professionals, life becomes way easier because:
- You have enough time to rest from studying
- You can focus on things you like
- You stop stressing over the burning deadlines
- Your academic performance goes up
Remember, reading others’ comments about write an essay for me service is important. For instance, contain lots of positive feedback from satisfied people. Overall, busy life often makes you wish to have several clones. But, if the only option is to multitask, be sure to do it carefully. This way, you can prevent harm and do everything on time!