The human mind is capable of doing multiple tasks at a time. We can cook while watching
television, or we can talk on a call when answering an email. So there is no denying that we can
perform two or more tasks at a time. But what is impossible is concentrating on more than one
task at a time.
When you are cooking while watching something, there is only one thing that you are actually
concentrating on. So you will either be watching the television and whatever you are cooking is
just for some background noise. Or you will be cooking the dish with full concentration and the
television will just be for background music.
When you are multitasking, you are actually switching the focus of your brain from one task to
the other very quickly. You may think that you are giving justice to both the tasks but that is not
the case. It wouldn’t have been a very big deal if the human brain was conditioned to transit
from one task to the other seamlessly. But it is not.
So why can’t we multitask?
The answer is simple, the human brain can concentrate on one task at a time. For example, has
it ever happened to you that you are in the middle of writing an email, someone comes in to
talk something important to you, and when the conversation is over and you turn back to
complete the email, it takes you a few minutes to get the track of that work?
It is simply because we are not made for multitasking. We can concentrate on one thing at a
time. When we take up more than one task, we are not doing those tasks simultaneously, but
we are just switching our focus from one to the other really quickly.
So you might now think, what is the big deal in doing that?
When you switch from one task to the other really quickly, you are forcing your brain to go back
and forth real quick. So in doing that, you lose focus on either of your tasks and none of the
tasks are really complete. You end up taking more time to finish a task than you would usually
So how do you finish your work on time without multitasking?
The answer- Prioritize!
Just jot down things that are your top priority. Something that has to be done right away can
top the list and other things that can be submitted a little late can be below it.
You can start off by doing the most urgent task and tick out the other things one after the
other, as you complete them. This way you can concentrate on one task only and perhaps
complete it faster than you would have thought!
In conclusion, multitasking is a myth. It is something that takes up twice your time to complete
one task and you end up not completing anything.
So when in doubt- just prioritize and focus on one task!