This post is based on the following article found on the APA.org news page:
According to a recent study cited by the American Psychological Association, people experience an incredible 40 percent drop in productivity when they multitask. There is actually no such thing as multitasking; our brains can only process one thing at a time. When people “multitask” they are merely switching back and forth between two tasks, which causes unnecessary strain. Then why do people multitask? The stimulation caused by opening an email or writing a text message signals the brain to secrete dopamine. Although the surge of dopamine makes one feel good, it is only temporary. Multitasking can make a person tire more quickly and hinder happiness in the long run. There are many ways to stop the habit. One way you can limit your tendency to multitask is by using a timer. Set it to go off every 30 minutes to one hour when you are in the process of completing tasks. Each time the timer goes off, ask yourself if you are doing the task you should be doing. You can train yourself over time to focus more on what needs to be done and less on other tasks.
I was shocked to read just how much productivity is lowered when multitasking. In today’s fast-paced society, people are always finding ways to save time. Interestingly, we may save time by refraining from doing the very thing we once thought would save us time in the first place. I urge you to think twice about multitasking the next time you have a long to-do list and see if the strategy works for you. It’s worth a try!