You likely know that multi-tasking hasn’t gotten the best coverage in the news these days. But did you also know that the more you multi-task, the less comfortable you’ll become with tasks that require deep focus?
That’s according to research by Georgetown Professor Cal Newport.
“Many people have convinced themselves that it’s crucial that they are always connected, both professionally and socially, but the reality is that this requirement is self-imposed,” he says. “Shallow tasks like reading and responding to emails or checking social media might prevent you from getting fired, but it’s deep tasks that produce the value and build the skills that get you promoted.”
Unfortunately, for many managers and professionals today, multi-tasking seems to be the only way to get all your work done. However, Newport argues that:
“High-quality work produced is a function of two things – the amount of time you spend on the work and the intensity of your focus during this time. If you can increase your focus, you’ll get more done in less time.”
So if you’re pulled in many directions throughout the day and rely on multi-tasking to get things done, how can you quit multi-tasking and improve your focus? Start by following these tips:
- Get in the right mindset. Take a minute or two to make sure you’re sitting comfortable and take a deep breath. Make sure you’re calm before you begin your work so you can concentrate better.
- Unplug. If you need to focus on a task, then unplug for an hour. Turn off your email and log out of social media. The world isn’t going to end if you’re not connected for 60 minutes. That way, you can totally focus on your work, rather than managing distractions.
- Make sure it’s not too hot or cold. Don’t let a stuffy or frigid room impact your focus. Adjust the thermostat so you’re comfortable.
- Turn on music. Playing music can help you focus your thoughts. In fact, there’s something called the ‘Mozart effect,’ which is a set of research results that indicate listening to Mozart may induce a short-term improvement in the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks.
- Take breaks. Rather than working straight through for hours, give yourself a few short breaks along the way. Taking a short break will help re-energize your brain.
The bottom line? We all multi-task. But the less you do it, the more you’ll be able to focus and take a deep dive into your work – producing better results along the way.
Are you multi-tasking because you’re short-staffed? If you are, the team at Pacific Staffing can help. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Northern California, we take the time to get to know our clients and our candidates. We have the experience to ask the right questions and pay attention to the details. As a result, we can help find the perfect match between employer and job seeker.
Contact Pacific Staffing today to learn more about how we can help your company.