Letter N0 76 - Ghost multitasking

We live in a world today where ghosting has moved from actual ghosts to people ghosting each other.

Today I want to introduce you to ghosting not a person but a devil that resides in all our lives. The devil called "multitasking"

Multitasking is one such thing that is glamorised as a skill, it’s glamorised as a personality trait to the extent that we let it define our self worth.

In my opinion, multitasking as a skill is important and everyone must be capable of doing it but it’s not required to be practised every single day, for every single thing on your plate.

Don’t fear it.

For the times when you have to, I know it feels like multitasking is daunting, but actually it doesn't have to be so. Here are a few tips to help you overcome your fear of multitasking:

  1. Start small: Don't try to take on too much at once. Start with a small number of tasks and gradually increase as you become more comfortable.
  2. Prioritize: Make a list of the tasks you need to complete and prioritize them by importance. This will help you to focus on the most important tasks first and avoid wasting time on less important tasks.
  3. Use tools: Use tools such as calendars, to-do lists, and project management software to help you keep track of your tasks and deadlines. Honestly even writing on a paper with pen works.
  4. Eliminate distractions: Identify and eliminate distractions that may impede your ability to focus on multiple tasks. This could include turning off your phone, closing unnecessary tabs on your computer, or working in a quiet environment.
  5. Practice time management: Be mindful of how you are spending your time and make sure you are allocating enough time for each task.
  6. Learn to switch task effectively: Instead of trying to do everything at once, learn to switch between tasks effectively.
  7. Take breaks: Multitasking can be mentally taxing, so make sure to take regular breaks to rest and recharge.

Remember, multitasking is not always the best approach and it's important to also learn to single-task effectively. The key is to find the right balance and to learn how to multitask in a way that works for you.

There are several studies and statistics that have been conducted on multitasking and its effects on productivity and performance:

  • According to a study by the American Psychological Association, multitasking can lead to a 40% drop in productivity.
  • Research from Stanford University found that multitasking can decrease IQ scores by as much as 15 points, similar to the impact of missing a full night's sleep.
  • A study by the University of Sussex found that multitasking can increase the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the brain by up to 16%.
  • A study by the University of Utah found that people who multitask frequently are more easily distracted, have worse memory, and are less able to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information.
  • A study by the University of California, Irvine found that it can take an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to fully regain focus after being distracted.

This is not to scare you but to share that these studies have different sample sizes and methods, and overall they all point out that multitasking can be less effective and efficient than completing one task at a time and it can also have negative effects on performance and productivity as well as cognitive and emotional well-being.

In simple terms multitasking is like holding two different toys in two hands and still playing and having fun.

Only do it till it’s fun, the minute it becomes chaotic drop it and refocus on single tasks only. I know it’s hard, and everything seems urgent but if you think clearly about each of the task you’ll feel more at peace with taking one thing at a time.

Next time you feel there’s too much on plate, ask yourself these questions to prioritise and be better at being able to multitask:

  1. Is this task truly necessary or can it wait?
  2. Can this task be completed quickly and efficiently?
  3. Will multitasking negatively impact the quality of the work being done?
  4. Can I delegate some of these tasks to others?
  5. Is there a way to streamline or automate some of these tasks?
  6. Am I able to focus and avoid distractions while multitasking?
  7. What are the potential consequences of multitasking and how will it affect my goals?
  8. What is the priority of each task and should I focus on the most important one first?
  9. Are there any potential conflicts between the different tasks I am trying to complete?
  10. Am I aware of my own limits and capabilities when it comes to multitasking?

Try playing a new instrument and
Sing a song.
Well, either you mess up the tune of the instrument
Or your tune in your voice.

Take it slow,
Take one thing at a time.
And think clearly.