You may want to consider stopping whatever else you’re doing to focus only on this article. According to research from Stanford University, multitasking is really bad for you. Not only does it hurt overall productivity and your ability to recall information, additional research shows it even lowers your IQ.

Also, this is terrifying: A team of researchers looked at MRI scans of people who spent a lot of time doing things like texting and watching TV at the same time and found they had lower brain density. They stop short of saying multitasking physically reshaped brains (people with less thick brains could be more predisposed to multitasking), but the combination of all the research is enough for neuroscientists to warn that your brain isn’t made for doing multiple things at once. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on being efficient:

###4 Tips for Working Efficiently:

Prioritize – Pick which tasks actually need to be completed and take them on, one at a time, in order of importance.

Leave on Time – If you know you’re going to leave right at, say, 5 o’clock, you’ll work better and faster to get your tasks done. Deadlines work wonders.

Sweat the Small Stuff – When small, manageable tasks come up, deal with them right away instead of letting them pile up.

Cut Down on Clutter – Around your desk. In your inbox. On your voicemail. Clean environments are more conducive to getting things done.

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