Deciding on whether or not to multitask is often out of our hands. The decision is made as soon as we think about doing it.
While multitasking can sometimes help us do more in less time, it can also have severe detrimental effects on our psyche and make us even more stressed than before.
There really isn’t a strict “do or don’t” rule when it comes to multitasking, so let’s take a look at how you can decide which style works for you personally and how you can use this information to your benefit.
The myth behind multitasking
What often makes us start multitasking is procrastination.
While putting off work is good when we want to relax and give ourselves a break, it can also make us stressful. Multitasking is the result of putting off too much work and having to do all of it under a strict deadline.
The alternative is more logical but many people fail to see it or use it properly.
If we did everything in due time and one step at a time, our quality of work would rise and we would be much more focused than in the former case.
Most people tend to multitask instead of taking it a step at a time because we are built this way as humans.
We would rather watch a TV show or read a few chapters of a book instead of work on what’s important. We are more attracted by momentary satisfaction than by long-term goals, and thus multitasking is born.
The shocking truth
While we take multitasking and procrastination for granted, they do take a toll on us.
Yes, we will do everything in time just before the deadline and tap ourselves on the back, but what if we started working much earlier than we did?
What multitasking does to your brain is split your attention – it doesn’t allow you to pay attention equally to the tasks you are doing.
Something will always suffer as a result of multitasking, and it will result in lower quality of work and rising anxiety with anyone who doesn’t work well under pressure.
Multitasking takes a severe toll on your mental health and makes you stressed and uneasy about everything around you. Worst of all, it can often make you a workaholic and you won’t rest until there’s something going on with your hands and brain.
Suffice it to say that this is bad for you and you will have repercussions far into the future. This is something to consider when procrastinating about your college work.
No amount of work or obligations is worth your mental health, so always strive to alleviate the pressure and multitask as rarely as possible.
One or the other
So now that we talked about how multitasking affects you in the long run, should you even consider using it in your work?
The sad truth is that you are probably doing it even now – you are reading an article and have three other tabs open on your browser.
Your attention span is already split and it keeps splitting, often losing focus of your work.
We are constantly multitasking and doing more things at once, so we should do our best to do one thing at a time as often as possible. Our default reaction to more tasks waiting to be done is to combine them together and get them over with as soon as possible – through multitasking.
What works best for each of us is different, however, and there is no general rule to using one or the other. Giving each method a shot is the best course of action.
Try doing more things at once and doing things in a succession instead. Then think about how it went for you. Don’t listen to generalized advice about how you should act and do your work. You are yourself, and you are different than the person giving you advice that works for them personally.
However you want to look at it, multitasking is a concept that will only evolve in the future.
We are constantly surrounded by more and more input from all directions and it’s forcing us to do more things at once just to finish everything in time.
Regardless of what the future holds for multitasking as a whole, we should always strive to adapt it to our personal needs and rely on our best judgment as for the deciding factor.
About The Author
This is a guest post by Nelma Lumme, a freelance content writer who helps people with career questions, providing useful tips for recruiters and employees through her articles.