Why won’t you do two or three tasks at the same time and save our dear time? A lot of people do it anyway – talking on the phone while listening to Rihanna, uploading photos in Facebook and cooking spaghetti at the same time. Employers seek workers who can multi-task so they’ll need less people and keep the money. People are rewarded to multitask.
Multi-tasking is the norm of society now, and the advent of smartphones surely helped. Eating dinner while checking your email is prevalent, yet an irritating and displeasing habit.
Time is too valued nowadays which led to everybody’s multi-tasking. But I defy multi-tasking. Doing a lot of things at the same time is confusing; and contrary to the popular belief, I find it less productive than single-tasking. Here’s why.
Multi-tasking simultaneously means multi-distractions. You won’t focus on one activity, so each activity is a distraction to one another. My mom trained me to watch TV while folding clothes. The thing is, I don’t enjoy the TV show since I’m preoccupied at folding. And the clothes looked ugly. Leisure time is watching TV and productivity time is folding clothes; and I’ve been more satisfied and more productive separating them.
Attention and Self-control Prolonged
Think of doing one task at a time and you’ll be able to focus more on it. It will take less time to finish one task and the quality of you doing that task is plenary. Divided attention was turned into full attention, which means less mistakes and better performance. Besides, it takes self-control to do this, which implies maturity of a person.
Pleasure more Pleasurable
Everybody needs time for themselves. And it’s more pleasurable to just enjoy your “me time” without slicing in some tasks, regardless if that’s just simple or minor task. Just take it slow when reading your book. Don’t fast read because you need to save time, but read at a comfortable pace. Or just take a shower without thinking about your job. Better yet, sing your favorite tune and loosen yourself.
Complexity leads to Stress
When one task is complex enough, why add another one? Another great reason why single tasking is the better choice is because it is less stressful than multi-tasking. And we all know stress ruins our mood, apart from the damaging but avertible health consequences.
Single tasking exercises one’s perseverance. And perseverance shortens the path to your goal. As McCarty (2012) puts it, concentration is an art; “if we practice concentrating, we can be busy, focused, and efficient. Best of all, we can breathe and relax”.
For me, this is living better. I hope you do too, with whatever works for you.
Which activities do you single-task?