Why multitasking is making you unproductive

 Up until a few years ago, multitasking was everything. 

If you couldn't keep 20 tabs open, including your emails and messenger while writing a report and holding a casual conversation about the summer holidays with your colleagues, you weren't doing your job to the max.

With the advent of productivity gurus like Cal Newport and Tim Ferriss, people have realised that actually, multitasking is not the productivity Holy Grail it was depicted to be. 

In fact, multitasking has been scientifically proven to make us less accurate and slower.

This is because every task we set out to do ignites the executive network in our brain which, in order to perform the task, has to follow a specific sequence of neurological steps, one at a time

Hence, by switching constantly from one task to another one, our brain has to start all over again every time, with the result of being on average 50% slower and 50% more inaccurate than if it was focusing on one task at a time. 

Not only that, our brain will burn more energy and leave us feeling exhausted.

The content switch is sometimes unconscious (when an email notification pops up). 

So in order to maximise your productivity, do yourself a favour and structure your work environment (damn open plan offices!!!) and calendar (no to endless meetings!!!) so that you minimise content switching as much as possible (close all your tabs!!), perhaps starting from the tasks that require your full brain power.

This article was originally written for the Green Gorilla weekly newsletter. If you liked it, subscribe to receive more articles like this and learn how to communicate sustainability better, how to be more productive without selling your soul to the work devil, and how to make an impact in the world. Here is the link: https://newsletter.thegreengorilla.co.uk/

Tags: sustainability, Productivity

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