Task switching

Task switching

Many of the multitasking warnings actually refer to the concept of “task switching.” It refers to switching your attention from one thing to another. 

Frequently flipping back and forth between different to-dos, is bad. It depletes your mental resources, wastes time, and will leave you feeling spread too thin.

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Time Management

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Multitasking  can have some merit

While you’ve likely heard that it’s physically impossible to do two things at once, that rule really only applies to tasks that require the same cognitive resources. If you can find ways to combine two tasks that are different enough - like listening to an educational podcast while making your commute, practicing for a presentation while getting your miles in on the treadmill, or brainstorming article ideas while doing the dishes - multitasking can actually serve to your benefit.

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End the workday by taking a minute to tidy your desk, save everything you’re working on, and close of all your tabs and windows. Make sure your work app notifications are automatically snoozed outside of work hours.
A physical and digital declutter will help your future self start the next morning focused and distraction-free.

How Exceptionally Productive People End The Workday

doist.com

Multitasking vs monotasking

Multitasking fractures your attention between multiple tasks at the same time; monotasking fully focuses on one task.

  • Multitasking is less about being able to work on more tasks at the same time, and more about hoe we switch between different tasks while not giving our full attention to any of them.
  • Monotasking (single-tasking) means working on one task at a time and it helps to increase our creativity, energy, and focus.

The Life-Changing Magic of Monotasking

benjaminspall.com

Multitasking: What We Know
  • The ideal state of work is the ‘flow’ state, where we have a clear, long period of focussed work without any distraction.
  • Busy periods of multitasking are generally seen as something that hinders our performance and increases stress, with visible cognitive strain and no upside.
  • The brain struggles to do multiple tasks at the same time, as evident by the fact that when we are trying to type a sentence or talk over the phone, we don’t process any conversation that is coming from outside, becoming a little deaf for a few moments.

How multitasking fuels original thinking

bbc.com

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