(8:15) When you try to do two things at once, you can’t or won’t do either well. If you think multitasking is an efficient way to get more done, you’ve got it backward. It’s an efficient way to get less done.
In the world of results, it will fail you every time. And for some reason in today’s society, doing just one thing at a time seems downright wasteful.
While we might think we’re processing tasks in parallel, our deliberate system is actually rapidly switching our attention between each activity.
And when you switch from one task to another, it always takes some time to start a new task and restart the one you quit, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever pick up exactly where you left off.
Multitasking more frequently doesn’t make you better at it either. In fact, habitual multitaskers have been found to take longer to switch between tasks than occasional multitaskers – perhaps because they’ve lost the knack of focusing for any length of time.
And ironically, research suggests that people who are most confident in their ability to multitask are in fact the worst at it.
But people can actually do two things at once, such as walk and talk, or chew gum and read a map. What we can’t do is FOCUS on two things at once. Our attention bounces back and forth.
Unlike our brain’s deliberate system, the automatic system is capable of parallel processing. So if one of your tasks truly requires no conscious thought from you, it’s possible to do something else at the same time.
So.. Why are we still trying to multitask? Stop thinking it’s more efficient. It’s not. Stop Internet surfing during phone calls, reading during meals, chatting while writing.
Do one thing at a time.