The Myth of Multitasking

Multitasking is a necessary skill to master, especially for freelancers and digital nomads, due to the refocusing of attention on several tasks at once in a day. This article covers tips so you can multitask effectively.

Working effectively
 Min read
May 12, 2023

Many employees will identify themselves as multitaskers who work best by juggling multiple duties at once. When you multitask, your mind is constantly jumping from task to task, as you tackle sections of each one until they’re all completed around the same time. While it’s a valuable skill to have, is it the best way to efficiently get work done?

The answer is that it’s not necessarily the best work approach for optimal productivity. While multitasking has been portrayed as a valuable, necessary approach to working, it could impair your focus abilities, making it more challenging to promptly complete your work. 

These are common misconceptions around multitasking to keep in mind: 

Myths of Multitasking

Multitasking enhances productivity

The idea of working on multiple tasks until they are all completed sounds like an efficient system. You could gradually work on projects piece by piece, interchanging them every half hour to keep things moving steadily. 

The reality: Multitasking can cause reduced productivity levels by about 40%

When addressing multiple heavy tasks at once, you could more easily make mistakes that will disrupt your overall workflow. By alternating tasks, your brain is briefly delayed as it needs to readjust its concentration to a new context by reorganizing the information it’s processed and remembering where you last left off.

Being a multitasker is an unattainable talent that only certain people possess.

Multitasking has been perceived as a brain functioning trait that is naturally inherited by some workers.

The reality: anyone can multitask if they learn how to practice it. 

Furthermore, the people around you who believe they can maintain focus on several things at once are not really that focused. They believe they are and then justify unproductive behavior because they believe they are working as productively as they would without distraction.

How to Balance Multiple Projects At A Time

Multitasking is a valuable skill that is necessary to master for managing your workload. Regularly in your professional life, you will need to refocus your attention on several tasks at once in a day. With these tips, you can accomplish this while performing with fully invested focus:

  • Prioritize tasks. You are your most productive at the beginning of your day, so schedule your morning to complete your more challenging tasks and the afternoon for lighter duties.
  • Switch between similar assignments when multitasking so your brain can stay on track.
  • Eliminate distractions or find solutions to zone them out so you can focus on one thing without any interfering stimuli pulling your attention.
  • Take a break. If your day involves addressing several projects, allow your brain a moment to restore and process the information between tasks.
  • Go slow. You don’t necessarily have to crawl through your day, but it helps to be careful as you juggle tasks so you don’t make any errors that could cost you more time in the future. 

If you are willing to continue learning in your professional life, you could improve your focus abilities to reach your optimal performance potential. To learn more about your productivity skills and where you can find opportunities to grow, participate in our concentration assessment today.

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