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 the next item on my “to-do” list. I find myself in this multi-tasking trifecta often, wrapping up one thing, thinking about the next thing, but acting on something else.
In theory, multi-tasking works in our favor. It helps us accomplish more in one day than if we tackled tasks individually. It allows us to power through the day and check off many boxes when we’re done. Right? Well… 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 confident you’re giving 100% on a task if you’re working on something else at the exact same time? Are you truly giving your full attention to a conversation if you’re responding to an email as well? Will you remember what agenda items result from 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 stress-inducing as it might initially be, it’s 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 will save you time, money, and frustration.