Multitasking in Project Management: – You are often on the phone at the same time you check your emails. You reply to your messages in the middle of a meeting, or you read a report while making your task list for the day. This is called multitasking (multitasking in English). Since the rise of new technologies, multitasking has been affecting more and more people, both in private life and in professional life. On the Internet, there are a large number of studies and articles describing the risks of multitasking (decreased productivity, errors, fatigue, etc.). Discover the truth about multitasking and why it hurts your work and your plans.
The truth about Multitasking
Multitasking does not exist because it is neurologically impossible. Some researchers have renamed it switch tasking, that is to say juggling from one task to another. Our brain is simply unable to do two things at the same time. In fact, it passes so quickly from one activity to another (in a tenth of a second) that it gives you the illusion of simultaneity. But it is only an illusion.
The problem is that multitasking affects your performance and the quality of your work. Indeed, performing several decisive tasks in parallel reduces your overall performance by 20 to 50% while extending the completion time from 30% to 200% and multiplying the number of errors made. All this causes intense and lasting mental exhaustion. In short, nothing very positive
6 – Reasons to stop Multitasking
- You are less Efficient and Less Productive
When you think you are doing multitasking then infect you juggle between your different tasks and focus your attention on one task and then on the other. Each time you change jobs, your brain must reorient or re-familiarize with the current task. This can take a long time. This same time that could be better used to work on one and the same task.
- You ruin your Ability to do a Good job
Multitasking enthusiasts tend to perform less well. The problem: as you spend your time jumping from one task to another, you do not even realize that you are decreasing the quality of your work because you no longer have time to check what you are doing. To summarize, those who practice multitasking are not able to determine whether their work is correct or not. In addition, one study shows that those who boast of being excellent at multitasking are, in fact, the worst.
- Your work Loses Quality
Do you think you can be effective with multitasking? Research has shown that juggling between different tasks amounts to neglecting all of them. Instead of concentrating all your attention on a single task, you disperse on several tasks. You are then less efficient (cf number 1), you take more time to accomplish your tasks and you are stressed because you are not moving fast enough. In addition, this can lead to a loss of credibility with your managers and colleagues.
- Multitasking Damages the Brain
Not only does multitasking make it ineffective, but it also damages your brain. The University of Sussex in England found that people who regularly practiced multitasking had lost brain matter in part of the brain responsible for rational cognitive functions such as decision-making, empathy, impulse control and emotional control.
- Multitasking decreases your IQ
In 2005, a study by researchers at the University of London showed that the intellectual quotient of employees who used electronic multitasking between their messages (emails, SMS, Facebook, etc.) and their work decreased more than that of cannabis smokers or followers of sleepless nights.
- Multitasking can be dangerous
Indeed, sending an SMS while driving on an unknown route reduces the reaction time by 35%, which increases the risk of accidents by 23? If we translate these figures into the context of work, we realize how multitasking can be harmful to an employee’s productivity, but also to the success of a project. If you are less attentive, you can make the wrong decisions that will cause delays, additional costs or even failure of your project.
4 – Tips to Avoid Multitasking
- Concentrate on one task at a time
Several times a day, isolate yourself in a room and eliminate all possible distractions (phone, Internet, interruptions) in order to work and concentrate on a single task. You will be satisfied, relieved and motivated to have completed this task; you can finally remove it from your to-do list and move on to the next task.
- Turn off the sound of Notifications from your Electronic Devices
By cutting off these disturbing ringtones, you will remain focused on the task you are performing. By avoiding constantly interrupting you to consult an email or a message, you are much more productive.
- Give your employees Full Attention
When a member of your team comes to talk to you about a problem, be fully listening to it. Let go of your computer and phone for the duration of the conversation and listen carefully to that person. Not only will you understand the problem more quickly and will be able to propose an effective solution, but above all your collaborator will appreciate your attention, he will feel valued and he will have a higher esteem of you.
- Carefully manage your time
One of the reasons for multitasking is our impatience and our desire to always go faster, to do more and more to have more time. By shortening your deadlines, you will concentrate more on each task to finish them on time. Shorten your meetings time to get to the point. In short, your time is precious; do not lose it to be multitasking.