Multi-Tasking vs. Mono Tasking
Learn why and when multi-tasking could be a good option to increase your productivity and results.
I admit: I suck at multi-tasking. I need to concentrate 100% on what I am doing or otherwise; I will make mistakes. I can’t even listen to music while I am writing.
So why an article on multi-tasking? Because I believe that it has its place and can sometimes help your motivation and outcomes.
Multi-tasking might be the “enemy” of creative tasks, but it can be an ally when working on chores.
For example, you can listen to podcasts or audiobooks while driving to work. You can watch documentaries while folding towels, or coming up with creative solutions for problems while working out.
How does multi-tasking improve your productivity?
- Combining a chore with something you like can be motivating and avoid procrastination. For example, you might be looking forward to cleaning the kitchen because you know that you will be listening to your favorite podcast at the same time.
- Combining tasks with movement will allow you to take advantage of two benefits at the same time. Increasing your level of physical activity will keep you fit and healthy. And — according to a study by Stanford University — it can improve creativity at the same time.
How can you make multi-tasking successful?
- Plan ahead which tasks or activities you want to combine. This can help you to look forward to chores.
- Limit certain activities to multi-tasking. For example, limit your Netflix time to the time you exercise.
- Manage expectations and welcome the distraction. Combining tasks can increase the time you need to do them. Being conscious about this will decrease pressure and can help you to “enjoy” multi-tasking.
When should you avoid multitasking?
- If you want to relax multi-tasking can backfire. The brain can be overwhelmed by multiple tasks and release stress hormones to cope with it.
- If you want to be mindful: multi-tasking is the opposite of mindfulness and will not allow you to engage in activities fully.
- If you want to save time: multitasking will not allow you to perform your tasks as effectively as mono-tasking. Focusing on more than one chore decreases your level of attention, which will lead to reduced efficiency.
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