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Today I want to tell you something that as an entrepreneur I am sure happens to you. It is a terrible thing that can decrease your mental ability to a level that can be compared with a drunk person. The topic that I will talk about is multitasking productivity.
A Productivity Enemy
Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully. Research also shows that, in addition to slowing you down, multitasking lowers your IQ.
Can we really do multitasking productivity?
The answer is NO! The worst is that in the society in which we live, it seems not only “great” but admirable to do something like that. I’m talking about doing many things at once. Have you noted that you read a message on your phone while someone is talking to you and you end up not understanding neither one thing nor the other? Or you re-read a paragraph from a book just because your mind at that time was thinking about something else? How many times you are driving and talking at the same time?
Do not feel bad, we all do at some point and, even worse, we believe that that’s okay! But it’s not like that. Not even computers, which are the fastest devices in the world to perform many processes, are “multi-tasking”. These devices perform ONLY ONE operation at a time. What happens is that they perform at incredible speeds, and this gives the idea that they are doing several things at once.
Several studies have shown that drivers who were talking on the phone had the same level of management that a drunk driver. That is, they can cause the same amount of accidents that a person who had drank alcohol. Is not that terrible? The terrible thing is that everyone does. Just look around you. Everyone is walking and talking on her phone or texting while walking.
Fortunately there are rules and regulations in force that are running in different countries. For example, in the states of New Jersey and New York, USA., fines for texting on the phone while you are walking began earlier in 2012 with a value of $85 and will continue to increase. They ’ve already been imposed over 350,000 fines (yes, three hundred fifty thousand) and this because of the number of accidents and problems with other pedestrians by this practice. In addition, other studies have shown that multitasking is more harmful than the consumption of some drugs. Actually, nobody, absolutely nobody is multitasking. This is just a bad practice.
David Strayer, a psychology professor and co-director of a laboratory study of the brain at the University of Utah, is blunt: “We can only process one thing at a time. When performing multiple tasks, we are actually just moving from one activity to another. This involves removing attention on a task and pass it to another, so that you can process the other and go back again and again.”
Strayer did a test with Petrus Venter, one of the people who supposedly had the greatest capacity in the world for multitasking. The experiment was collected on a National Geographic program about the limits of attention. Venter was put to drive a vehicle on a road full of obstacles, while a person through headphones, was asking questions to him that require at least a basic cognitive attention. The results showed that driving worsened as the questions were becoming more complex, and the level of success in the responses also fell.
As a society, we have not only turned into addicts to multi-task, but we have put on a pedestal and worship it. It is so much like that, unfortunately in many companies, two of the most important requirements when looking for a job are: “Ability to perform multiple tasks at once and perform ‘optimally’ working under pressure.” Think about this: Two of the most harmful things for the human being are part of the “fundamental” requirements to obtain important jobs.
In our culture it’s called a hero who can juggle 20 things at once, and still make a million of dollars and have great sex every day. The reality is that if you focus on one thing at a time and just do that, you become a special person, and 20 times more productive than the rest!, besides running fewer risks and accidents. Nobody will be able to compete with you, an d in no time you’ll be leading your own business.
Don’t do multi-tasking.
Start a task, finish it and then continue with the next. Work hard but one thing at a time, until the end.
Bring your mind to the present.
Many times we find ourselves doing something but our mind is “traveling” out there (either mourning, thinking about things that have not yet passed or worrying). That does not work, bring your mind to immediately today
Doing multi-tasking you are destroying your brain and you become less effective.
The real hero is the one who can focus on a single task, finish it well and move on.