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Why task-switching makes you worse at your job

Why task-switching makes you worse at your job

slowgrowth.com

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Does Multitasking Make You More Efficient?

The short answer is, no.

Multiple studies have found that when we constantly indulge in jumping from one task to another — called task switching — we become less efficient and are more likely to make mistakes.

Media...

Why Can't We Avoid Multitasking?

The simple answer is that we’re addicted to it. Thanks to sweet, sweet dopamine, our brains are overachievers (and a little bit lazy). We just looove the idea of doing two things at once, even if it makes us worse at both of them.

We Crave Distraction

Dopamine is often called the “reward” chemical because of how it makes us feel. When we “do something right”, like completing a task, we get a hit of dopamine, and it makes us want to do that thing again.

And that’s the problem. Because our brains don’t really care what we do. Dopa...

Multitasking Feels Like We Are Getting Things Done

When we’re focused on something, the left and right sides of your prefrontal cortex work together. But when we multitask, our prefrontal cortex has to split to accommodate the extra cognitive load.

It feels like you’re doing two things at once, but the reality is that’s not how our...

Work Culture Rewards Responsiveness

It’s a badge of honor to be always available. It’s uncomfortable to say “no” if one of your coworkers wants to “hop on a quick call.” You’d rather stop what you’re doing than seem like you’re too busy. Even if you’re in the middle of an important task.

51.5% of workers in a

How to ditch multitasking and create room for deep focus instead

It’s hard to stop multitasking. We’re rewarded for being busy (or at least looking busy). And it’s easy to think, “I’m getting so much done!” when you have a bunch of windows open on your screen.

But doing one thing at a time is often the simplest and most effective ways to boost ...

Trim down your to-do list

Diving into a massive list every morning won’t work. It’s too easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and pretty soon you’ll find ways to distract yourself. Instead of trying to “do all the things”, add a step between listing everything you have to do and

Block out time for deep work and  email

Mute notifications on your phone and desktop and set an alarm for a specific time to check your email, Slack, and other applications. Interruptions happen, but it’s impossible to get into a flow state when you get interrupted every 5 minutes.

Try to batch communication and set expectations...

Use tools to your advantage

Productivity tools can be a double-edged sword. They enable us to do more work, but it’s easy to get lost in the customization and multitasking features, notifications, and endless menus.

Use the software to your advantage. Install a website blocker, like

‘Mono-tasking’ is a habit

It’s hard to stay focused for long stretches of time, and it will take practice to master. But like all good habits , it’s worth the hassle.

It’s ironic, but focusing on a single task and slowing down can help you get more done a...

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