The Myth of Multitasking

Let's be real for a sec. The whole idea of multitasking has this flashy allure to it. Doing a ton of things at once? Sounds like a productivity dream! But what if I told you it might just be the biggest productivity trap out there?


6/13/20233 min read

Ever noticed when you’re constantly interrupted, tasks feel like they drag on forever? But, when you’re in the zone, deep in work, it's like time flies! That’s the stark difference between a mind that's all over the place and one that's laser-focused.

It’s a curious thing, our brain. It behaves a bit like a lazy cat; it loves conserving energy. When faced with intensive tasks, it often nudges us towards easier, less demanding diversions, making us feel like we're "multitasking." In truth, the brain is just catching its breath, leading us astray during the trickier parts of our work. I've noticed, for example, the irresistible urge to check my phone crops up when I'm stuck or unsure about the next step in my work.

See, our days are chock-full of what I'd coin as "tiny multitasking moments." Take our romance with our phones, for instance. It's a whirlwind! Jumping from one app to another in nanoseconds, shooting off a text here, wrapping up an email there, all while bobbing our heads to a new tune playing. And this is coming from someone who's practically married to technology. I live and breathe this stuff. But here's where the plot twist comes in: these relentless little tasks might just be keeping us from the bigger game.

You might feel like a master juggler, handling tasks like a pro. But sometimes, it’s more like juggling with slippery fish. You're bound to drop a few. Try crafting a business proposal while also replying to messages. You might pull it off, but will it be your best work? Probably not. It’s like every tiny 'ping' from our gadgets drags us into a pit, making it an uphill battle to climb back to our original task.

Sure, you might think you're advancing on all fronts, but are you really? It's a bit like trying to hold water in your hands; some of it inevitably slips away. You might respond to a text or two while drafting an important proposal, but there’s a good chance that the quality of your work is silently bearing the brunt. And every ding from our devices? Each one's a siren call, yanking us away from our zone of focus.

So, what's the game plan to tackle this? I've been trying this new approach: scheduling my day. Sounds basic, right? But, hear me out. Making a simple to-do list, then allocating fixed times for each task, especially the tough ones, has been a game-changer. Then there's this cool trick called the Pomodoro Technique. It’s all about working with intense focus for 25 minutes, then taking a 5-minute break. It's like training your mind to sprint and then take a breather.

But look, it ain’t a walk in the park. Early on, you’ll feel the urge to revert to the old multitasking ways. The key? Stick with it. Over time, you'll start seeing just how much more you're getting done.

If there's one golden nugget I'd want you to take from this, it's this: multitasking might be a cool buzzword, but in reality, it could be draining your productivity. Sometimes, the old-school, one-thing-at-a-time approach is the way to go.