Stanford University researcher Clifford Nass has thoroughly researched multitasking, culminating in a major study that has been verified many times. His conclusion: “High multitaskers are suckers for irrelevancy.” In his research, multitaskers were outperformed in every measure. Although multitaskers convince themselves they are good at many things, in reality, they end up becoming “lousy at everything.”
High multitaskers are suckers for irrelevancy. ~ Prof. Nass, Stanford University. CLICK TO TWEET.
Here is the problem: As humans, we can do more than one thing at a time, but our brains are hardwired to only give full attention to one thing at a time. So every timewe switch gears, our brains need time to engage in the new conversation, then concentrate, then disengage, and then go on to the next task.
Let’s get real… At work, if you have email alerts activated, your phone buzzes with a new text, then a colleague interrupts you “just for a second,” followed by a Facebook update longing for your attention… you’re well on your way to a terrible day. Where did all the time go? Here: researchers say we spend up to 1/3 of our day recovering from an interruption and attempting to re-concentrate.
Social media is a Weapon of Mass Distraction. Who’s winning the war? ~ Rob McCleland. CLICK TO TWEET.
Friends, multitasking is exhausting. It steals the mental energy you need to do your best work. The undistracted you is a better person than the scattered you. Think of it this way: if you and I invented a pill to give people 1/3 of their time and energy back, we’d be instant billionaires. We’d win every award—we’d be heroes!
The Bottom Line: Be a hero. Give the gift of focus to others, but, as a leader, start with yourself.
Comment below: What have you learned to do in order to minimize distractions and increase focus? Leave your comments below.
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