“You can do two things at once, but you can’t focus effectively on two things at once.” —Gary Keller
In our culture, multitasking is often celebrated—especially in a work environment. We think the more we can get done in the least amount of time, the better.
We all do it, too. Walking down the street texting, listening to something while we’re doing research online, writing an email while on a conference call. Unfortunately, the truth is that multitasking is far from the best way to knock items off your list.
In their article, BrainFact.org talks about how doing more that one task splits the brain. We all have an area toward the front of the brain that spans both the left and right side, called the prefrontal cortex that activates when we need to pay attention. It helps us focus our attention on a goal, and coordinates messages to other brain systems to accomplish our task. These two sides of the brain work together when focused on a single task, yet function independently when we attempt to multitask.
In short—you’ll feel like you’re working faster but—believe it or not—it actually slows you down.
But if multitasking’s out, what’s the best way to get things done fast while delivering your highest quality work?
Let’s take a look.