Do you think you are an expert at performing multiple tasks simultaneously? It is gratifying to manage numerous items at once, and you feel like you are being efficient. At Fortis’ Enterprise, we have examined the phenomenon of multitasking, and we regret to inform you that it’s a big waste of time!

Studies have shown that when we execute multiple tasks, we use slightly more brain power than if we concentrate on a single item. For instance, if you are reading a report and using 100 units of brain power and you shift your focus to answer an email, your brain power is cut to 50 units on each activity. Additionally, your brain has to make an effort to divert its attention to the second job.

When an additional event occurs, such as a phone call, your brain power is divided again. Your level of concentration on each item is further eroded. As such, your brain needs to switch between tasks, which consumes more of your concentration. Your productivity takes another hit. The cycle continues as additional interruptions arise.

How about the scenario of performing simultaneous tasks? For example, what happens when you talk on the phone while answering emails? Your brain continuously switches back and forth between each activity, and you lose focus on both. Most likely, you will need to review the email after you have completed the conversation, or you may have to make a second phone call to review what was discussed. Either way, neither task gets completed efficiently.

In today’s world, we can’t always avoid multitasking. However, if you can minimize the number of interruptions and allow your brain to focus, your productivity will automatically improve. See what happens when you turn off your phone and email when you have a project to complete. You’ll be impressed with your newfound efficiency!