National Single Tasking Day – But is Multi-Tasking Even Possible?
In this ‘busy’ society that we live in, multitasking feels like a given in order for us to keep up with the many different tasks and roles that we play. There never seems to be enough time in one day to do everything that we ‘need’ to do.
National Single Tasking Day, celebrated on February 22nd, is a day to get things done, one at a time. The best way to celebrate is to take a break from all the distractions that come with multi-tasking and just focusing on one task.
It is often joked about how men can’t multitask, yet women do it so well. Yet based on extensive research, the brain cannot multitask, meaning no one can actually do it.
When we say this, we mean that the brain cannot be doing two things at once that require high-level brain function. We can leverage the strength of the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind so that the unconscious mind can be focusing on us breathing and our organs working, while the rest of our mind can be thinking or doing something else. The conscious mind also has the ability to focus on something that we regard as low-level brain function while our subconscious mind is thinking of something completely different. Let’s look at an example.
If we were cooking dinner and it was a new recipe that we had never cooked before, and on the tv was the latest episode of Bridgerton. The chances of us being able to follow the recipe within the time frame and make it well, all while paying attention to what is happening between Simon and Daphne is quite slim. This is because it is new information and learning in both tasks making them high-level brain functions.
However, if we were cooking a meal that we have cooked numerous times before, there is a much higher chance that we can take in Bridgerton and get dinner cooked. This is because the cooking a meal that we already know how to do can be done on ‘auto-pilot’ and is low-level brain functioning. Autopilot means we aren’t logically thinking about it and should something alter or not go to our usual plan, it will convert to a high-level task.
When we think we are multitasking our mind is actually jumping from task to task at extreme speed trying to refocus each time on each task. This creates inefficiency and leaves us not only open to error, but also decreases our ability to perform and succeed.
Here are 3 quick tips on how to maximise the strength of your mind to achieve more in your day:
So don’t wait until ‘Single Tasking Day’ on 22nd February- simply stop trying to multitask. Instead, leverage the strength of the most amazing organs in our body by working with our brain and the way it functions rather than against it.
This is truly how we work smarter and not harder.
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