“People can’t do multitasking very well, and when they say they can, they’re deluding themselves” – The Organized Mind book.
Multitasking – Is it Good for You?
Most people fill their chests and feel proud deeming they can multitask very well. If you’re one of them, I’m sorry to disappoint you but… what really happens is that your brain is context-switching as many times as you request it to do it.
Unfortunately, the way the brain works is still very simple and does not hold the capacity to multithread like computers. Perhaps in the future, it will be possible to add some chips to make this happen? Just not now… so, is this multitasking beneficial for any of us?!
The short answer is no.
Our Brains Work Like a Car
We are always using cognitive energy, whether we are single-tasking or multitasking. The important thing to know though is that we spend way LESS energy when we are focused on doing the same thing.
Switching from one task to another requires a lot of metabolic costs, which can damage your cognitive and physical performance throughout the day.
If we are constantly shifting tasks, the limited daily fuel we have will be spent faster, and we will feel more tired and exhausted. Thus, causing cognitive and physical performance to lower, leading to anxiety, stress, or even a more aggressive behavior.
Little Decisions Appear to Take as Much Energy as Big Ones
Multitasking alone is bad by itself. But it brings one more thing: decision making which adds up more unnecessary weight on our cognitive performance.
Should I read my email now or pick up the phone? Maybe I could read that book now instead of playing a game? Or I could start that side project which will make me famous?
All of the previous COST you nutrients and in the long term can damage not only your social world but yourself as well.
Start By Organizing Your Home
How many times have you lost your keys, phone, glasses in your cozy home?
If you’re like me, then the answer is… I lost count of it.
Well, to avoid spending lots of energy on little problems, we can for instance assign a place for the keys, so whenever you arrive home you’ll put the keys in that designated place. The same for the phone, glasses, etc. You got my point.
If we start creating these small but powerful habits, we’ll have more energy at the end of the day to do the things we most love.
Free Up Your Mind
Every time you remember about something you ought to do, write it down on a small index card or on your phone (I do this last one). By doing this, you can stop constantly reminding yourself of the tasks you still have to finish by the end of the week.
These are some of the small things you can do to organize your mind. It may seem insignificant, but in the long term, I guarantee you’ll keep seeing the results.
There’s many more things you can do to organize your mind. Besides the ones I mentioned, we can and should also organize our time and our social world.
We can allocate times for answering our emails, or to do some things that hold some priority.
The important thing is that we’re aware of this and can try to improve our mind in order to have more energy to the things that really matter.
If you have any other ideas on how to organize your mind, please leave your opinions in the comments below.