• Anupam Pandey

So much work. Such little time.

Are you busy? Or distracted?

There is a difference between being a 'multi-tasker' and being 'organised'. The first allows you to focus on one task at a time while keeping track of everything you are required to do. The latter is talking on the phone while typing out an email in the middle of reviewing a report. While that image of a busy professional doing multiple things at once seems appealing and suggestive of success, it is anything but.

When you focus on more than one thing at a time - the report, the email and the phone call in our example - odds are you will get something wrong. This is because our brains are designed to focus on one thing at a time. It takes us 7 minutes to get our focus back to what we were doing each time we get distracted, for example checking an email or text notification.

What's more, a lack of focus reduces our effective IQ, meaning we do each of our tasks less intelligently.

Consider this - at last count digital distractions were costing the US economy over $900 billion in lost productivity each year. So if you're looking to become better at multitasking, don't. Try to get more organised instead. Start with managing the notifications on your phone and potentially setting fixed times in your workday to read and respond to emails.

Further reading - https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/why-multi-tasking-is-killing-your-brain.html