Daily, we get bombarded with thousands of messages online from website advertisements, emails, phone calls, text messaging, voice mails, social media alerts, instant messaging (chat) and many others (like TV, radio, etc.)

Standford research shows, and specifically Prof. Clifford Nass at Standford – Department of Communication, everything distracts multitaskers. They do not have the ability to sort out and filter information and keep or use the information that’s relevant to their goals.

In this way, multitaskers know what’s important to them, but can’t identify it, so they get all over the place and get distracted by minor things. This alone kill the performance and task completion dramatically. If we do not complete tasks that are relevant to our current goals, there’s no progress whatsoever.

The research shows that when we are in a situation where there are multiple sources or streams of information that are coming from the Internet or from other electronic devices, multitaskers were unable to filter out the irrelevant information, and they simply get absorbed by virtually everything, jumping from one thing to another.


What’s relevant to one’s goal, ambition or outcomes are completely neglected? This happens almost automatically or subconsciously, so it appears that we do not have any control over it.


But There’s A Good News

You can reverse this process and do “single-tasking,” by training yourself consistently and doing 1-2 things at a time. Well, it turns out that our brain can’t handle 2, or more than 2, complicated tasks at a time.

Sure we can chew gum and walk at the same time, but we can’t write an article on the Internet and solving calculus equations at the same time. So there are tasks that require your full attention, in order to be completed than others.

The tasks cause a positive change in your business are those tasks that require your full attention. And doing nothing else is required to get it done. That’s why single tasking and being 100% engaged at it is the key to high performance!

Here are some examples of multitasking that can damage your ability to focus and lessens your attention span:

1) Reading emails if you are following a TV show, serial or movie at the same time.

2) Singing along with your favorite song on YouTube and reading your email at the same time.

3) Talking on the phone or chatting with a friend in a chat client while you are watching TV.

Here is some business related “brain killers:”

1) Writing an article and following your favorite TV program

2) Checking emails while writing an article, making a video or doing some sort of creative work

3) Talking on the phone, typing text messages or using chat clients while you are doing some creative work (like doing research that’s relevant to your business, writing an article, creating a video, etc.)

4) Eating while you are working on the computer in your home office at the same time.

5) Chatting with a friend while you are working on your projects, etc.


The Bottom Line Is…

The more “heavy tasks” you do at a time the more you damage your sensory perceptions related to your brain, meaning, the more you are open to distractions and nothing gets accomplished at the end of the day. How do you know if you are a multitasker?

Low multitaskers can filter distractions very easily and see what’s relevant to them, depending on their goals. They are actually not getting affected by distractions as much, because they simply stop completely when there’s a distraction or schedule distractions in the first place so that they can perform at their best.

If you really want to get more out of your efforts and actually get the job done, then read my next article, called “How To Do Less And Accomplish More?

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