Multitasking: Increases efficiency, or loses?

Looking at a very important file in the office, suddenly your phone rang in a Bersik tune. He took the phone in his hand and saw that it was not necessary to pick up the call, so he received the call. Looking at the file, talking on the phone. Once you start to feel yourself, sitting with the file in hand, the work of the fertilizer-file is not working, on the other hand, the tension of the file on the phone can not say the word openly. It seems that no matter how much work you are doing, nothing is going well.

Right now you are reading this article. Chances are that there are many more useful-unnecessary tabs open in your browser along with this writing. And when you close the browser, you may close the browser without looking at the other tabs.

Important meetings include browsing social media, watching TV, talking on multiple phones at the same time, and more than one job at a time. This is what we call ‘multitasking’ in common parlance. At present, the more multitasking one can do, the more clever and efficient he is assumed to be. In the midst of constant multitasking, the idea of ​​’doing a lot of work at the same time, it means doing more in a short time’ comes to mind. When we talk about a successful person nowadays, we get a picture of a person who is doing many things at the same time.

But recent research speaks differently. According to researchers, multitasking is a way to increase our productivity, but it also reduces productivity at a significant rate, loses focus, and increases the level of error at work.

Which is multitasking, which is not

Multitasking is not exactly as good as we think. Before we can understand this, we need to understand what is being called ‘multitasking’.

Multitasking is not something that one can do by dividing one’s time into different tasks. Whether a person is working and studying at the same time or a person is managing children, family, studies at the same time, or being an entrepreneur along with a job – these are not examples of multitasking.

Multitasking is going to do multiple things at the same time, scattering many without keeping one’s current focus on one task. Multitasking is not a new concept, the practice of combining one task with another has been going on for a long time. But in the present age of information technology, this idea has become very widespread. In the present age, the good, as well as the bad side of information, is that information concentration impairs our concentration. Our ‘attention span’ is now much reduced. In that case, if we make our brain do extra work of multitasking, then its ability to work will naturally decrease a lot.

What is the impact on productivity?

Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. There are many tabs open in the browser, including your mail, online magazines, many more websites needed to write reports, social media, YouTube, etc. This is not the end. Next to it is your smartphone, where there is a possibility of WiFi or mobile data on and the sound of tuntang messages and notifications. In such a situation, how much attention can be paid to this important report?

There are a lot of tabs open in your browser that you think you need, but what do you really need? If you don’t login to social media then there is no big loss. Even if you don’t know all the news from all over the world at that moment. If you haven’t seen the recent viral video, it’s not very important.

Notice, we also focused our attention on these relatively less important tasks. Unknowingly, the attention is going to the other tabs or the smartphone next to it. As a result, the main task we are supposed to do then, naturally, even if we want to pay full attention to that task, we can no longer give.

You may be wondering, where is the problem? I can share my ‘attention’ as I wish.

That’s the problem, researchers say. According to Earl Miller, a professor at MIT, people can focus on one thing at a time. Not only that, but recent research suggests that multitasking can reduce our efficiency by up to 40 percent.

What we do in the name of multitasking, we basically ‘switch’ from one job to another very quickly. This is called ‘task switching’. As a result of moving quickly from one task to another, it is not possible to keep full focus on any task. As a result, no work can be completed with full attention. In addition, our brains become very tired.

A study from Stanford University found that those who do multitasking have a relatively poor quality of work. This is because if a lot of work has to be done at the same time, a lot of information is collected in the brain, so the brain has to work harder to get the main work out of that information, both the quality and speed of work is reduced.

A small test

If you don’t like all the theoretical discussions about multitasking, then here is a short test for you by Dave Cransh, author of The Myth of Multitasking. From this you can understand for yourself how effective multitasking is.

Take two papers, draw two lines on each paper. Now take the first paper, write in the above line-

“I am a Great Multitasker”

Write 1 to 20 in English on the bottom line. Take a look at the clock, how long it took you to write these two lines. The job was done in less than a minute, wasn’t it?

Now take the second paper.

Write “I” on the top line, ‘1’ on the bottom line,

Type ‘a’ in the top line again, type ‘2’ in the bottom line

In this way, write one letter on the top line and one number on the bottom line, just like the first paper. Now look at the clock, how long it took.

The output is the same in both the first and second cases, i.e. the same thing is written on both the papers. But as long as it took time to write on the first paper, it took much more time to write the same thing on the second paper, and there was also more brain work.

So the thing is, in the first case, that is, when we are doing a task with attention, the output is getting better, the task is getting easier.

You can watch the video below to understand the multitasking experiment.

Attention and concentration are key

Concentration and concentration are one of the prerequisites for getting the full benefits of any important work. And if you want to keep this focus, you have to focus on one task at a time. That is why multitasking must be avoided.

Psychologists are currently talking about increasing the emphasis on mindfulness. In other words, many positive changes in life are possible only if we pay full attention to the activities of our lives.

For example, when we are busy eating, we often check our cell phone, talk on the phone, or watch TV. However, if you change your habits and practice ‘mindful eating’, that is, by eating your own food with attention, things like indigestion and overeating can be avoided. And if it is so important to concentrate on a seemingly simple task like eating, it is needless to say how much attention is needed on other important tasks. And multitasking damages this very concentration space.

Is multitasking completely abandoned?

In our current busy lives, it is not possible to completely avoid multitasking. The extra time it takes to do the chores of the day may be a luxury for many. So you have to understand the importance of work and decide whether to do multitasking or not.

For example, you can wear headphones to tidy up the house, which may not have an adverse effect on the work. But when you are driving, it is better not to show ‘alertness’ like talking or texting on mobile. Or if you do not concentrate your attention on an urgent task or decision in the workplace, there is a strong possibility of making a mistake in the task or decision, the consequences of which are far-reaching.


It may not always be possible for everyone to do everything with full attention. But one thing we need to keep in mind is that it is possible for people to pay attention to one side at a time. Accepting this limitation of the human brain makes the task much easier. Once you stop multitasking and focus on one task at a time, your brain will be grateful to you. You can do so much good for the brain that has to work so hard every day.

If you feel bad for not being good at multitasking, hopefully after reading this article you will be free from that guilt.

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