There’s a certain irony in the fact that this article about productivity took over a week to write.
This is because, in between interviewing, writing, stopping, starting, lunching and revising, distractions happened, plans were abandoned, new projects were started.
And isn’t that always the way?
However there’s one single thing we could all be doing that would boost our productivity rates at home, work or study, and like most things, it’s something we all know we should be doing.
Associate Professor at The University of Queensland’s School of Psychology, Paul E. Dux, told Mamamia that multi-tasking is essentially the enemy to productivity.
“Everyone knows that things like task-switching are potential distractions are really problematic right?” he said.
“Despite the fact that we have over a hundred billion neurons and trillions of connections, we’re actually really bad at doing two things at once.”
Can people actually multi-task?
The short answer is no. Dux says that there’s very clear evidence that multi-tasking can be very detrimental to performance.
This applies to simple, everyday tasks too.
“Even tasks that we’re highly practiced like someone who thinks they can talk on a cellphone while driving,” he says. In fact, he equates it to driving with a blood alcohol level of .08, which is over the legal blood alcohol concentration level of .05.
“It’s not the fact that you’re holding it hands free, it’s also the distraction element.
“That’s why you’re four times more likely to have a crash when talking on your cell phone while driving.
“We talk a lot and we drive a lot but it’s still a very distracting practice to do, and there’s lots of instances where doing that is bad,” he says.
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