Here’s Why Monotasking is Better than Multitasking

“When we think we’re multitasking we’re actually multi switching. That is what the brain is very good at doing – quickly diverting its attention from one place to the next. We think we’re being productive. We are, indeed, being busy. But in reality we’re simply giving ourselves extra work.”  – Michael Harris

Here's Why Monotasking is Better than Multitasking
Artwork by Sean David Williams

We are living in an age where productivity is valued way more than is necessary. These days, time spent leisurely is labelled as being ‘lazy’ by the new age gurus. You are expected to keep working until you reach your grave! Sit back for a while and you have “lost valuable productive hours.”

You would think that in this hustle culture, multitasking is a safer (and efficient) option to stay ahead of the game. But the problem is that your brain cannot process information appropriately if given multiple instructions at a time. Some researchers at Stanford University have found that multitasking actually lowers your productivity level. A series of experiments revealed that multitaskers often forget important details.

“When they’re in situations where there are multiple sources of information coming from the external world or emerging out of memory, they’re not able to filter out what’s not relevant to their current goal. That failure to filter means they’re slowed down by irrelevant information.”

Anthony Wagner, an Associate Professor of Psychology at StanforUniversity.

You can argue that although multitasking is not everyone’s cup of tea, it is yours. Fair enough. But here’s another research based evidence that might convince you to change your mind. Yale researchers suggest that monotasking is the way forward! Focussing on one thing at a time allows you to do the job better and quicker.

So, if you are someone who believes in multitasking, try doing one thing at a time for a change? Mute that music, stop texting and concentrate on this article only. If you want to check your emails, by all means go ahead but you do not have to do so while having lunch!

Make life easier. Stop over-stressing your brain. Why bite off more than you can chew? Besides, is it not rude to not pay attention to people around you while trying to be the Jack of all trades? Say, you are out for dinner with your family and are constantly checking texts or replying to office emails. Honestly, is that nice behaviour? Take one day and one task at a time, and do justice to it before moving on to the next. Simple, isn’t it?

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Ishita Ganguly

Ishita is a published author, poet, Udemy Instructor, and freelance writer from India. She is the author of the book, “Stories from the City called Kolkata” and co-author of three international anthologies – “Ardour”, “Pivot and Pause” and “What if Love happens again?” Her articles and poems have been published in leading websites and international magazines. She believes words have immense power and writers can make a huge impact in the world.

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