Sure, we can chew gum, walk and talk, and so forth, but when your brain needs to focus on a task such as reading, driving, learning, writing, and that type of thing, it’s not a good idea to be involved in multitasking.
But you protest, “I’m a nurse, I excel at multitasking. I can walk down the hall of a hospital and answer a call light, assess a patient, provide patient education, and think about the call that I just placed to a physician. Of course, I can multitask.”
There Is No Such Thing as Multitasking!
What we call multitasking is not productive. This means that you can go back and forth between tasks. For example, you work on a case and check out your social media sites at the same time. But you’re not really doing both at the same time.
The Problems with Trying to Multitask
It Slows You Done in Every Task
When you don’t give 100 percent of your focus to the task at hand, it will take longer. Try it for yourself. The next time you need to get something done, set a timer for 30 minutes. Do only that task. Don’t watch TV, listen to the radio, check your phone, or anything.
Then do the same task again for the same amount of time while also doing something else and you’ll see that you get more done.
You Tend to Make Mistakes
When you multitask, you can make mistakes. What if your surgeon was texting while doing surgery? As ludicrous as this sounds, so many people think they’re able to text and drive. In many cases, multitasking is deadly; in other cases it just causes you to make unneeded mistakes.
Inaccuracies in Your Work
Need to perfotm a detailed analysis of medical records? Attorneys reward us for finding the fine nuances of a case. Pay attention to exactly what you’re doing and nothing else if you don’t want to make mistakes. The same can be said for cooking, changing the oil in your car, or anything with steps to make that produce results.
You Stress Out
When everything is taking too long, you make mistakes such as your reports being inaccurate. And then you’re stressed out, of course. The stress can manifest itself into sickness, burnout, and worse.
You Don’t Enjoy Your Life
One of the saddest parts of multitasking is that the people who do it are missing out on experiencing life. They miss weddings, family dinners, and other intimate relationships due to always trying to do more than one thing at a time.
It Increases Memory Issues
Too much input can lead to information overload, which can cause problems with your memory. Your brain essentially starts filtering information incorrectly, which causes everything to have the same weight of importance. This causes you to forget.
It Affects Your Relationships
If you’ve had even one person tell you that you’re on your phone too much, listen to them. That means everyone you know probably thinks you aren’t present during important times. They start to think you don’t care about them, and you won’t be able to build long-term intimate relationships if you don’t take the time to focus on them.
It Makes You Fat
Believe it or not, multitasking may be to blame for the fact that over 60 percent of the population is overweight today. Why? When you eat and watch TV, eat and work, eat and drive, you’re not focused on the activity of eating, so you miss bodily cues that let you know when you’re satiated. Yikes!
You Can’t Really Do It
As mentioned before, no one really multitasks. They just switch from one task to another. Since it’s not possible to do more than one thing at a time, stop trying. Give yourself enough time to do each thing without interference, and you’ll improve the quality of your life tremendously.
Additionally, attempting multitasking will ruin your creativity and take the joy from the things you like to do. Life is a series of events that you should take the time to enjoy and soak in, even if it’s data entry or reading detailed medical record. You’ll get more out of your life if you start trying to focus on one thing at a time so that you do your best and feel good about it.
• Are you mired in frustration or in the details of running your business?
• Do you struggle to operate your business in your environment?
• Would it be helpful to declutter your space?
• Are you looking for ideas on how to manage your to-do lists?
As an LNC entrepreneur, you face many unfamiliar challenges: how to acquire clients and keep them happy, the need to keep accurate financial records, and dealing with ebbs and flows in work. You may feel overwhelmed.
I’ve written many books that address the above issues. 21 Tips to Run Your LNC Business Efficiently: How to Excel highlights 21 ways you can sharply reduce overwhelm by making simple and easy changes in your work environment. Order at LNC.tips/creatingseries.
Pat Iyer is president of The Pat Iyer Group, which develops resources to assist LNCs obtain more clients, make more money and achieve their business goals and dreams.
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