Multitasking is killing your productivity. Here’s how to stop it.

For so many business people, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done. In the past, those people would hire others to help with the workload. For a long time now, however, the trend has been to do more with fewer people.

The only way that will work, of course, is for workers to do more than one thing at a time. And that is how multitasking came to be so popular. A great many people began attributing their success in business to their talent for multi-tasking.

Acceptance of that idea, however, is not universal. In fact, according to small business publication Inc., “Multitasking is Killing Your Brain”. The article’s premise is that your brain wasn’t designed to multitask. Therefore, doing so will increase your stress, lower your efficiency and the quality of your work.

So maybe it’s time to put to look at some other approaches.

Do It Right the First Time

The authors of Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life told Patrick Skerrett at Harvard Health that “multitasking increases the chances of making mistakes”. That can have all kinds of serious consequences in business. At best, it will at least cost you extra time to go back and correct the mistakes, so it would have been faster to just do it right the first time.

At worst, you can lose money, or even clients. Depending on the kind of mistakes you are making while trying to do more than one thing at a time, multitasking could cost you big one way or another.

Set Priorities

Don’t try to do everything at once. Assign tasks in the order of importance, using due dates and deadlines. Then give them the attention they deserve.

In business, there aren’t as many mindless tasks that can be done without thinking, as there are at home. Sure, you can fold towels while watching television without risking any unpleasant consequences. But even something as simple as putting a file back in the wrong spot could have serious repercussions if it can’t be found next time it’s needed.

Establish an Efficient Work Flow

Instead of seeing how many things you can do at the same time, break large tasks into smaller sequential ones, then do one after the other. Once you determine the most effective way of doing this, you will do it more efficiently each time you repeat it.

Your business will prosper much more with you performing like a well-oiled machine than like a whirling dervish creating more chaos than accomplishments.

Stay Smart

While multitasking may not exactly make you stupid, it does lower your IQ. It turns out that the IQ of people who multitasked dropped about the same as those who smoked pot or skipped an entire night of sleep.

Does that sound like the kind of capability you want when trying to run a business? Then stop multitasking. Immediately.

Stay Focused

If you spend too much time bouncing between tasks, your brain starts to form a habit of maintaining focus for short amounts of time. Then, when you need to concentrate for prolonged periods, you may find yourself unable to do so. To succeed in business, you need to stay focused.

Delegate

If there really is simply not enough time for you to get everything done during working hours, then use the old-fashioned solution of getting help. Instead of filling your days with multitasking, delegate everything that doesn’t absolutely require your personal attention, so that you can focus on the highest priorities of your business.

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