Multitasking stands for a person’s attempt to focus on several activities at the same time. Most commonly, multitasking is practiced for the purpose of saving time because it creates an impression that the tasks are completed faster when they are worked on simultaneously. However, many scientists, researchers, and psychologists agree that multitasking is not beneficial for the doer and instead of speeding up the completion of the tasks makes the multitasker lose focus and work slower than if they were working on just one activity.
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In that way, even though multitasking makes the working process appear faster, it can lead to the loss of focus because none of the tasks receive full attention, the level of stress of the doer is elevated due to constant switching between activities, and the atmosphere of rush that diminishes the doer’s productivity.
One of the main features of multitasking is the need to divide one’s attention between several activities. As a result of this dynamic, none of the tasks on which the multitasker works tend to receive his or her full attention. In turn, working on several activities simultaneously impairs the doer’s attention and makes him or her miss details of their tasks. Some of such details overlooked due to multitasking can turn out to be very important for the overall success of the task and the quality of its result. This is why single-tasking could be more beneficial in terms of quality.
Moreover, multitasking contributes to the elevation of the level of stress experienced by the multitasker. This tendency occurs due to the ongoing switching between several different activities causing the doer to change their thought process, concentration, and pace of working. In addition to these adjustments, the multitasker also has to adapt to a new task with every switch, thus forcing his or her brain to get used to new types of information and activities again and again (Tugend 728). As a result of this pattern, the doer becomes stressed out much faster than they would be while working on a single task.
While working on several tasks at the same time, an individual loses their productivity along with the time spent on the switching. In particular, the switch may only take a couple seconds, but as multitasking goes on, the time will add up resulting in a lengthy period lost just to the shift of activities (Tugend 727). In that way, by the end of the day, a multitasker tends to lose a lot of time doing practically nothing which could be spent in a much more efficient manner.
Some may notice that while multitasking, people tend to work faster than they would while doing a single task. This tendency is true and was noticed by researchers (Tugend 727-728). Trying to fit the completion of several tasks in a short period of time, one would work quicker. Additionally, multitasking can create a perceived atmosphere of rush making the multitasker believe that they are more productive. This is why multitasking can be a preferred option for many individuals.
Multitasking is a common practice that includes focusing on several tasks at the same time. However, multitasking is based on the division of one’s attention between several tasks that results in the loss of focus due to a higher level of stress and constant switching. It may create the illusion of a faster and more productive working process making the doer feel better about their work. However, the result of such work would be a low-quality product created with significant time loses and under an elevated level of stress for the multitasker.
Tugend, Alina. “Multitasking Can Make You Lose…Um…Focus.”