Why I’m Giving up Multitasking for Good


See those knock-off Birkenstocks in the photo above? I got them for free with a coupon during a winter sale. They are not the cutest shoes—it’s like Birkenstocks meet clogs. But they are comfortable for wearing around the house.

These shoes were never supposed to be seen in public on my feet. But last Sunday, I wore them to church. Yes, let this be a lesson to all Fashionistas. Please learn from the error of my bad ways.

It’s time to stop multitasking!

For years, I prided myself as being a multitasker. I would show up for interviews boasting of my ability to do multiple projects at once. Not so long ago, my dear hubby and I got into a conversation about multitasking. I was still bragging.

Then, little things started happening around the house. An unattended pot that almost burned. Some gluten free cornbread that was ruined because I left out some key ingredients. And my recent faux pas—wearing my knock-off Birkenstock house slippers to church because I forgot to put on my real shoes. These incidents were the result of my multitasking and trying to do too many things at once.

Our brains work better and we get more done by focusing on one thing at a time. This is gonna take some getting used to for me.

A few months ago, I heard a report on the radio about the benefits of NOT multitasking. “Puh Leeze!” I scoffed at the radio. Everyone knows you can be more productive by having a lot of irons in the fire. And I love being productive! Then, a few weeks ago, I was listening to a radio host go through a hypothetical day of a working woman and all the things she really didn’t do because the tasks were overlapping and not being done well. The gist of the story was the lack of productivity achieved when doing too many things at once. I caught the tail end of the talk, so it prompted me to look up the research he referenced.

With a little digging, I found a study from Stanford University that proved his claim. And more studies like this one are reaching the same conclusion. It boils down to this—the results are worse for us (like wearing ugly shoes in public) when we focus on too many things at once. I’m convinced, but if you’re like me, it may take some time to change this habit. Now, instead of telling myself to “Do this. Do that,” I am consciously thinking “When I finish this, I will do that next.” This is a hard thing to alter as our society encourages us to cram eating, web-surfing, kid watching and texting into single moments to achieve as much as we can.

But the research doesn’t lie. Our brains work better and we get more done by focusing on one thing at a time. This is gonna take some getting used to for me. But if I gave up the art of busyness (read more about that here) then I can do this too. Anyway, I’m motivated now. I don’t want to risk another day in public in these shoes. Don’t even get me started on how hot they were. Lesson learned and hint taken!

How about you? Are you a little bit more convinced? Are you ready to boost your productivity by slowing down and doing more one thing at a time?

Comments

  1. Anonymous
    • July 25, 2017
    • 3:56 pm
    • Reply

    Just what I needed to hear!!

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • July 29, 2017
      • 9:08 pm
      • Reply

      Ohhhh, you make me so happy to hear that, Carolyn. It’s tough, but so necessary. Just make it happen:).

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