Multitasking is commonly assumed to always be a good thing, but is it? We’ve explored the extensive research that has investigated how multitasking affects productivity so we can answer, is multitasking good or bad?
So, is multitasking good or bad? Having analysed multiple research papers and even conducting our own (slightly less scientific) study, we can firmly conclude that multitasking is almost always the wrong approach to being productive.
You might think multitasking must be a good thing, but in face, multiple studies have shown that it can actually increase the time to delivery, with humans often overestimating our ability to focus on more than one thing at a time.
How to stay focused?
TLDR; focus on one task at a time. Instead of attempting to multitask, which as we’ve seen typically leads to worse results, we recommend breaking down your day into 3-5 key tasks that you need to get done, and then focusing on only one at a time. A great approach to achieve this is to use an app like Today. The Today app focuses you on the task at hand, preventing you from getting distracted.
You can download Today for free on iOS and Android now.
What multitasking means?
Multitasking is described as the ability for a human to work on more than one task at a time, it is often associated as a positive trait.
Is multitasking good or bad?
Although multitasking is assumed to be a good thing, multiple studies have shown that it can actually increase the time to delivery, with humans often overestimating our ability to focus on more than one thing at a time.
What is an example of multitasking?
A great example of multitasking is when you are trying to complete multiple to-dos at a time, such as checking your emails whilst listening to a lecture.
What happens when you multitask?
When you try to do more than one thing at a time, your brain often lacks the capacity to perform the tasks effectively. Research has also shown that multitasking can even lower your IQ.
What are the benefits of multitasking?
Multitasking isn’t all bad; working on multiple tasks that are both relatively low effort can still be effective.