The myth of multitasking

brain rules book imageMany people pride themselves on being able to multitask. However, according to Dr. John Medina, the best-selling author of Brain Rules, “Our brain can give its attention to just one thing at a time.” Sure we can talk while our brain regulates our heartbeat and breathing, but “You can’t simultaneously pay attention to a speaker and check your emails because you are continuously switching your attention between two things.” Research shows that “constantly switching between two things doubles the time needed to accomplish a task and increases the chances of making mistakes by 50 percent.”

So if you think you are being more efficient in your business by trying to do many things at the same time, you’re only increasing the time it takes to accomplish any one thing and there is a good chance that you’ll make a mistake. The message here is to slow down. Take one thing at a time. Do it really well. Then move onto the next thing. I’m convinced you’ll get more accomplished in less time and with less stress.

–Barney Cohen

President, Business 360 Northwest

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