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May 6, 2015

The real risk of employee multitasking

Your focus during the day can affect more than just your work flow.

Your focus during the day can affect more than just your work flow.

Multitasking has previously been seen as an excellent skill set for job applicants, promotion candidates and management leadership. However, recent data suggests multitasking may not be as great as previously thought for employee development.
According to Entrepreneur, multitasking can actually damage your brain and inhibit you from accomplishing tasks in an efficient manner. Recent findings from Stanford University indicate that multitasking is less productive than doing one thing at a time, even for those that believe it is their “special skill.”
Researchers found that multitask-driven workers cannot:

  • Pay attention
  • Recall information
  • Switch between jobs seamlessly as well as those who complete one job at a time.

The brain actually lacks capacity to do more than one task at a time successfully. According to a study conducted at the University of London, multitasking can lower your IQ  by several points. A third study indicated workers who frequently multitask had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex. This area affects empathy, as well as cognitive and emotional control. This could be why you’re feeling more stressed than usual.
If you have always multitasked, it will be a hard habit to quit overnight, but it’s not impossible. Implement these four tips into your day for a happier, healthier output of production:

  • Communicate with peers to let them know you need help or have finished your work early so everyone is on the same page.
  • Focus on the task at hand by giving all attention to what is actually in front of you.
  • Make a to-do list of tasks to be completed in order of highest priority.
  • Take a break periodically to reward yourself, increase focus and take some personal time throughout the day.

For more employee training and e-learning solutions for your organization, visit our website.

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