The High Cost of Multi-Tasking
When I started writing this blog post I was simultaneously checking email, responding to a text, and thinking about what was next on my “to-do” list. What a breeze, right? I frequently find myself in these situations. I’ll be wrapping up one thing, while thinking about the next thing, but acting on something else.
Those of us that multi-task (which is the majority) believe that it absolutely works in our favor all the time. It helps us accomplish more in one day than we would normally be able to. It makes us super-humans that can power through the day and feel like a giant ball of success when we’re done. Right?
Well, not to rain on anyone’s parade, or drop a “truth bomb” (as I like to call it)…but that’s not always the case. The infographic below from dailyinfographic.com says otherwise, and they’ve got data to prove it. Did you know that an estimated $450 billion is lost annually due to people not being immersed in the task at hand? Now if that doesn’t make you start to think, I don’t know what will.
How can you be sure you’re giving 100% on something, if you’re working on a something else at the exact same time? Are you really giving your full attention to a conversation if you’re responding to an email as well? Will you remember what agenda items come out of a meeting if you’re already thinking about what’s next on your schedule? Multi-tasking is a great thing, but it definitely has a time and place.
As crazy as it seems, it might be time to start closing out of email during a big project, sliding that cell phone back into your bag during a meeting, and leaving the grocery list until the end of the day to complete. It’s time to “un-plug” from the rest of the world, and “plug-in” to your task. And I said TASK there, not TASKS. Prioritize what’s important, finalize it, and then move on to the next thing. It just might save you time, money, and frustration. Check out the graphic below if you don’t believe me.