Stop Multitasking! Here is the Why and How

How many things are you doing right now?! Multitasking means doing more than one thing simultaneously.

Stop.

Many people are proud of being effective multitaskers, thinking it helps save time and money. However, the human brain isn’t neurologically wired for that, regardless of gender. So assuming that women are better multitaskers than men is a myth. 

A woman can weaken her immune system by continuously processing intellectual data with no rest, especially when hormones start changing and she becomes more susceptible to stress. 

“Stressful behaviors that shorten telomeres and promote brain cell aging include anything that takes you out of the ‘now.’ This includes dwelling on the past, worrying about the future, exaggerating dangers, and multitasking,” says Elissa Epel, Ph.D., a psychiatry professor at the University of California.

In addition, focusing on multiple things at once negatively impacts mental health and wellbeing and reduces your ability to concentrate, leading to increased anxiety, chronic stress, and depression. 

Memory Loss – Decreased IQ

Studies have shown that multitasking permanently alters brain structure and reduces gray matter, negatively impacting memory and IQ, resulting in poor cognitive performance and 40% loss of productivity, comparable to staying up all night or smoking marijuana. The synapses that fire in the brain while multitasking show similar patterns observed in dementia patients.

Subjects have also displayed decreased emotional control and empathy while demonstrating inferior executive management skills because they lack focus and are easily distracted.

Multitasking splits focus, resulting in not being present for either task. As a result, it lowers your performance and makes you more prone to cognitive errors. Hence, it repeatedly takes longer to accomplish the assignments. 

Simply said, multitasking usually results in doing a crappy job at multiple activities.

How Single-tasking Is Superior

If you want to maximize your time, the answer is single-tasking because it’s the best method to use your brain’s energy, producing less stress and more energy. As a result, you will become positively more productive and enjoy each project thoroughly. In addition, we perform much better when we focus entirely on one thing at a time.

How to Break the Multitasking Habit and Do More

Giving up multitasking can be challenging when it has become a habit over time, but it is possible.

Step 1: Assess the various things you are trying to accomplish

Step 2: Determine your priorities

Here are some management tips

  • Clear the clutter: Clutter adds stress, and distraction and costs time, money, and energy. It impacts your capacity to get work done efficiently, have what you need when you need it, and your ability to concentrate on what is essential.
  • Get a planner: Organize your activities into a planner with a list of importance. Create a work schedule.
  • Track your time: Instead of constantly switching between tasks, set a timer and devote a specific amount of time to fully devote your attention to one thing before switching to another.
  • Limit distractions: Turn off notifications on your phone or computer, unsubscribe to things you don’t need, find a quieter place to work, and shut down social media sites.
  • Take breaks: Stay alert by stretching regularly, drinking water, standing in front of the window, and breathing. Don’t skip meals.
  • Be mindful: Adding mindfulness to your life may help you become more aware of when you are being distracted. Mindfulness can also improve your ability to focus and pay attention to what you are doing, and stay grounded in the present moment.
Spiritually speaking

Many spiritual paths talk about living life with one-pointed awareness. Creativity flows when you get in the zone, and things get done flawlessly and effortlessly. Multitasking contradicts every universal law that teaches us to live in the now, consciously and connected with our inner being.

Multitasking and working out

Multitasking at the gym or during workouts does not serve you either. Do you mindlessly watch television while on the treadmills, text, or browse social media sites on your cell phone between sets at the gym, hogging the equipment? 

Visualize the power of your workouts if you were present for them, grounded, centered, and aware! Then, your training would become the mantra by which you set the tone for how you behave in the gym and in the world. 

Because what you do somewhere, you do everywhere. 

Use exercise to begin controlling and conquering multitasking. I am biased toward strength training as a solution because as you continue to get stronger, it teaches you discipline, staying focused, not letting your mind wander, and avoiding injury. Besides, it feels delicious; I get younger each time while having more energy when the surge of strength passes through my body. As a result, I get more done faster. I also know to delegate assignments to others when I have too much on my plate. 

There are conscious or unconscious habits that govern our lives. Therefore, our responsibility is to raise collective consciousness by controlling our actions to contribute to a better, healthier environment. 

Pacing yourself appropriately and doing things that make you feel good slows down aging. Females need to feel good to do great things, while males need to do great things to feel good. 

Multitasking isn’t the answer; instead, focus on one thing at a time to improve your mental health, wellbeing, and productivity.

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