Multitasking makes us more prone to making mistakes
Multitasking makes us more prone to making mistakes, but also check off more things on our to-do lists.
It is clear to say than that we loosing quality of tasks by multitasking. But that is not all.
Also when multitasking it is more likely we will miss important information and cues, and less likely to retain information in working memory, which impairs problem solving and creativity.
Not everything is lost. Brain can learn to ignore distractions, making you more focused, creative, and productive.
1. Tame your frenzy. Frenzy is an emotional state, a feeling of being a little (or a lot) out of control.
– What can you do? Try to improve your balance of positive and negative emotions over the course of a day.
– What can your team do? Start meetings on positive topics and some humor. The positive emotions this generates can improve everyone’s brain function, leading to better teamwork and problem solving.
2. Apply the brakes.
- What can you do? To prevent distractions from hijacking your focus, use the ABC method as your brain’s brake pedal. Become Aware of your options: you can stop what you are doing and address the distraction, or you can let it go. Breathe deeply and consider your options. Then Choose thoughtfully: Stop? or Go?
- What can your team do? Try setting up one-hour distraction-free meetings. Everyone is expected to contribute and offer thoughtful and creative input, and no distractions (like laptops, tablets, cell phones, and other gadgets) are allowed.
3. Shift Sets. While it’s great to be focused, sometimes you need to turn your attention to a new problem.
– What can you do? Before you turn your attention to a new task, shift your focus from your mind to your body. Go for a walk, climb stairs, do some deep breathing or stretches.
– What can your team do? Schedule a five-minute break for every hour of meeting time, and encourage everyone to do something physical rather than run out to check email. By restoring the brain’s executive function, such breaks can lead to more and better ideas when you reconvene.
Organizing your mind, and your team members’ minds, will yield a solid payoff in the year ahead. Adding “high-quality focus” is a great place to start. Try holding a no-multitasking meeting and see what happens when everyone in the room gives their undivided attention.