Is Multitasking Hurting Your Productivity?

We live in a multitasking culture, but that scattered focus might just be slowing us down.

As a work-at-home mom to an 11-month-old baby, I am no stranger to multitasking. I check email while feeding my baby, keep up with social media while working on my writing assignments, and listen to news podcasts while cooking supper. I’m basically never doing just one thing.

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All of that multitasking might just be hurting me, and it may be hurting you, too. According to the graphic below, here are a few of the negative effects of multitasking:

  • It can lower IQ.
  • It can lower productivity.
  • It can increase your error rate.

The graphic below is clearly trying to sell video conferencing software, but the statistics that it shares about multitaskins are still very eye-opening. I did a little bit of independent digging about the effects of multitasking and found some interesting information:

I wonder how much I’ve missed and how much I’ve stressed myself out by checking my blog stats during a meeting or sneaking a peek at Facebook during conference calls.  I’d love to hear what you think about multitasking! Do you tend to do multiple things at once? If so, do these numbers have you rethinking that inclination to juggle more than one thing at a time?

Is multitasking hurting your productivity?

Image Credit: Infographic via Visual.ly

96 comments

Lawrence D.
Lawrence D.about a year ago

Thanks

Kamia T.
Kamia T.2 years ago

Unfortunately, business LOVES multi-tasking, piling more and more work on already stressed employees as they phase out job after job, subtly implying that if one can't take on the extra work, there's somebody out there waiting in the wings to take on your job. I finally had to reach a point of stepping off the rat wheel, because if left to their own devices, many businesses will simply run you into the ground heartlessly.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers2 years ago

Thank you!

Jess No Fwd Plz K.
Jessica K.2 years ago

Sometimes I wonder if there's an addiction to the sense of busyness that comes from multitasking, like an adrenaline rush. Thanks.

Ana Marija R.
ANA MARIJA R.2 years ago

One thing at a time.
Thank you for the reminder.

Louise Lopez
Louise Lopez2 years ago

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John chapman
John chapman2 years ago

If you can't successfully pull off multitasking, in today's business environment.

Well, there's another round of downsizing on the horizon.

Michael DC
Michael DC2 years ago

Thanks for your post.You have arise correct point. Multitasking has rapidly taken our lives,multitasking ironically,often make us less efficient,We can see what happen in the brain when people try to perform more then one complex task at a time.The news isn't good.Because this causes an overload of brain processing capacity.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Mauvette Joesephine
Catherine Fisher2 years ago

Multitask rarely.
But occasionally it's OK; it also depends on the person and the "task".