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Starting a business is hard. There are so many things to do at once. Create the product but all the while start to build up a bit of marketing. Build a website. Manage social media.
The list goes on and on.
Once a friend said to me “you know when there’s so much to do and you end up just doing nothing”. I remember naively (and judgementally) responding “No”.
Well not only was I lying to myself. But I got what she was saying and I never forgot that conversation.
Starting a business is a constant battle between I have 50 things to do, what do I do first and feeling like you haven’t really achieved much.
If you need a visual it’s like chopping at a big block of wood all day, to only leave a chip in it.
But is the problem not how many things we have to do but how many things we are doing at once.
You start off writing and think “I better check my email, so and so was supposed to write back”, to jumping on Pinterest to work on your strategy to clicking on a blog post about how someone made $10,000 in a month in their first 8 months of blogging. And before you know it, the days gone and it’s many tasks are still there.
(P.S. This all happened to me as I was writing this)
So what are the costs of multitasking. Is focusing on only one task more productive than trying to be the ‘ultimate multitasker”
We don’t actually multitask
Studies have shown we don’t actually multitask but switch between tasks. 1
When we switch between tasks we’re a little bit slower than if we were to repeat the task. 2
We’re slower on the second task when we switch
Studies showed that when students went from different tasks, they lost time every time they had to switch.
As the tasks got harder, they lost more time and the slower they got.
The more we switch, the more time we lose
Even though studies show that the time we lose switching between tasks (sometimes just a few tenths of a second), they add up when we keep switching back and fourth between tasks.
You could lose up to 40% of your productivity (yikes!)
The more we switch the more mistakes we made
They found that even though multitasking made us feel like we were getting more done, it was actually taking us more time and we were making more mistakes.
Here are some things to do get the 40% of your productivity back!
- Create time blocks for getting your daily tasks done (has worked wonders for me!)
- Set a time for checking your emails and social media
- Keep your phone away!! (Damn Instagram!!)
These are simple things yet most of us forget to do it. Or are so bogged down by what we have to do, we can’t help ourselves.
So all in all, multitasking causes us to do things slower, take longer and make more errors.
Every day we multitask we are only running at 60% productivity.
So try and set out some time and nut out the things you need to do with no distractions!
Comment below any strategies you have to help you stay productive and stop multitasking!
- Multitasking: Switching Costs apa.org ↩