Header bg
  • section background

    Here’s why you shouldn’t multitask

    Hero bg 2
    bruce-mars-FWVMhUa_wbY-unsplash

    Five or ten years ago, maybe even in more recent years, everyone thought multitasking was a strength. Who wouldn’t want to get two tasks done at once? The ability to juggle always seemed like a benefit. But nowadays, as more research comes out, people realize that multitasking has more cons than pros.

    This article explains some of the consequences of multitasking and how you can minimize these adverse effects.

    The consequence of multitasking

    Lower productivity

    To some, this might seem counterintuitive. Multitasking is supposed to increase productivity, and now you hear that it actually reduces it?

    This holds true because when we multitask, we aren’t doing two things at once. Instead, we’re switching back and forth between two jobs. For example, if you’re writing a report and discussing another project with your boss on Slack or Skype, you’re switching back and forth — i.e., every time you respond to an instant message, you need to pause your report writing. Some research suggests that this reduces productivity by a whopping 40%.

    When you switch back and forth, you ultimately need to refocus yourself each time. This need to refocus takes time and takes away from a “deep focus” or “flow state“, where people are most productive on their tasks.

    More stress 

    Multitasking can also lead to more stress. When we multitask, we’re constantly interrupting ourselves. Because we’re less efficient when we’re trying to be more efficient by multitasking, we may frustrate ourselves by the lack of work we complete. This can ultimately increase our stress levels and reduce our happiness and mental health.

    Additionally, if one of the tasks stresses you, it could bleed into the second task. Suddenly, you have multiple jobs hurting your mental health. An alternative is to pick the “low hanging fruit”. Figure out which tasks you can finish most quickly and get them out of the way. As you realize your to-do list is shortening, your stress level may shorten with it.

    Multitasking can be rude

    Don’t you hate it when you’re speaking, and people aren’t paying attention? Well, meetings are a common place where we end up multitasking. Some think that they can simultaneously pay attention to a presentation or contribute to a discussion while filling out spreadsheets, but this often isn’t true.

    By splitting your focus, you may end up not retaining any of the meeting’s information and make numerous mistakes on your spreadsheet.

    Mistakes and lack of retention aren’t the only issues. If you’re noticeably focused on your laptop during a meeting, others may find it rude. You may even need the speaker to repeat a statement or embarrass yourself when you’re asked a question — utterly oblivious to what the question was.

    How to minimize multitasking’s adverse effects

    Tackle one task at a time

    In essence, the simplest solution to multitasking is to only tackle one task at a time. This is harder than it seems because we may be accustomed to multitasking and do it unconsciously.

    If you have the luxury of a giant or multiple screens, always ask yourself whether you need each screen for your task at hand. Often, we don’t, and we’re actually unconsciously multitasking, like replying to messages or watching YouTube while working.

    Practice mindfulness

    Mindfulness is the art of being present. You can almost see it as the opposite of multitasking because mindfulness requires you to focus only on what’s in front of you. This means not thinking about the future or the past. But it also means not managing multiple items at once.

    Its benefits are endless and include relieving stress and improving physical health. To tap into mindfulness, you can find many mindfulness exercises online. It’s also essential to constantly remind yourself to keep focused and not let other tasks or distractions detract you.

    Multitasking isn’t as great as it seems. Everyone would love to get two things done at once, but this isn’t entirely possible. For most people, focusing on one project at a time will ultimately be in your best interest.

    Originally published April 8, 2021, updated August 25, 2023

    Back to APOLLO Magazine
    Share this article

    Get Tenant Insurance in less than a minute

    Get no-nonsense coverage that's the best value for your money. Purchase policies from your computer or phone, receive your documents instantly, and save when you buy online.

    Get a free quote

    4.7 rating

    Google Logo

    Get Tenant Insurance in less than a minute

    Get no-nonsense coverage that's the best value for your money. Purchase policies from your computer or phone, receive your documents instantly, and save when you buy online.

    Relevant articles

    tenant insurance vs landlord insurance canada

    APOLLO Insurance Introduces FinShore

    how to sell on amazon Canada

    Business and Insurance Requirements: How to Sell on Amazon

    how to start a contracting business

    How to Start a Contracting Business

    does tenant insurance cover damage to landlord’s property

    Can I Buy Tenant Insurance Online?

    section background
    section background

    Getting insured is as easy as 1 - 2 - 3

    Tell us (very little) about yourself
    1

    Tell us (very little) about yourself

    Just tell us your address, your name, email and phone number. And that's it. We'll give you a price in less than a minute.

    Pay online easily and securely
    2

    Pay online easily and securely

    You can choose to pay monthly or save money by paying for the entire year in one easy payment.

    Get your documents in your inbox - instantly
    3

    Get your documents in your inbox - instantly

    As soon as you complete your purchase, you'll find your proof of insurance and policy documents waiting for you in your inbox.

    Get covered today - it couldn’t be easier

    We’ve provided more than 1,000,000 quotes to Canadians just like you. Give it a try!

    Google Logo

    Reviews

    4.7 rating

    1,683 reviews

    view all

    Across Canada

    Contact Us
    Apollo logo

    © 2024 APOLLO Insurance Solutions Ltd.

    111 Water Street, Unit 210, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1A7

    APOLLO Insurance Agency Ltd. (o/a APOLLO Brokerage in the province of Ontario only) is a licensed retail brokerage, offering our clients with a comprehensive set of insurance solutions to meet their individual needs. APOLLO Insurance Agency Ltd. maintains necessary corporate licensing in provinces across Canada. Availability of products and service depends on licensing and product availability. The information that appears on this page is provided for information purposes only. Advertised products and prices are not guaranteed and vary based on insurance provider and/or insurance company's discretion and product availability.

    Transparency and Disclosure: APOLLO Insurance Agency's role is to provide you with exceptional service and the best insurance products that suit your needs. As a licensed retail brokerage, our compensation is based on a commission basis already built into your insurance premium and varies based on the product purchased through our platform. For a description of how APOLLO Insurance Agency is compensated and how this is calculated, please refer to our Compensation Disclosure document. For consumers in Ontario, please review the RIBO Conduct Fact Sheet and the RIBO Conduct Guidance document.