How Multitasking Hurts Your Concentration
Have a lot on your plate to get done for the day? It might seem easier to get it all done if you multitask. But the truth is, multitasking hurts your concentration big time. Read on to find out just how bad it is to multitask when concentrating on getting things done.
Your Brain Can’t Multitask
According to the American Psychological Association, there is no such thing as multitasking when it comes to your brain. Although you may think you are doing multiple things simultaneously, your brain constantly switches back and forth between tasks. Thus you will tire faster when you multitask than if you focus on one task at a time.
Task-Switching Takes Time
Besides just tiring you out as your brain goes back and forth between two tasks, this task-switching takes time, which is valuable for meeting deadlines. You may not notice it, but it can take up to three minutes for your brain to fully switch over to a new task. And if you are taking three minutes between each of your tasks, this can quickly add hours you can't afford to be wasting.
Thoughts Aren’t Allowed to Flow
It isn't just the time and energy wasted. When you are constantly demanding that your brain switch subjects, this doesn't allow your brain to think very deeply. When you multitask, you're much more likely to accomplish two tasks of lower quality than when you focus on each task individually. This is because your brain hasn't had the time to think through both tasks thoroughly.
Creativity is Stifled
Additionally, when your thoughts aren't allowed to flow, this stifles your creativity. And depending on your line of work, this creativity could be essential to creating and innovating. It will also make it more challenging to overcome roadblocks that might come up as you work. And if you can't solve challenges while you work, you may find yourself stuck—wasting more time than if you hadn't tried multitasking in the first place.
Overall, although there are many reasons to multitask, your brain actually can't focus on two things at once. This process of switching back and forth between tasks is both a time and energy waster. Plus, it doesn't allow thoughts to flow, thus stifling your creativity and increasing the chances you'll come to a problem you can't solve. This is why you should absolutely stop multitasking during the times when you need to concentrate.