From the HR Support Center: Is Multitasking Possible or Just a Myth?

From the HR Support Center: Is Multitasking Possible or Just a Myth?

Multitasking is a myth! Human brains simply cannot pay attention to two things at once. Instead, our focus operates like a flashlight, which can illuminate a thing over here or a thing over there, but not both at the same time.

When we ask someone to multitask, they are just switching their focus back and forth between the two (or more) tasks. And the act of constantly switching focus makes a person worse at all of the tasks they are attempting to tackle.

Task-switching can double the amount of time a task takes and usually more than double the number of mistakes that will be made. And over time, this constant task-switching hinders our ability to focus on a single task even when the other stimuli are removed.

Our tip? Whenever possible, structure your workday—and the workdays of your employees—so you can focus on one task at a time. For instance, only having your email program open for 10 minutes every hour, or 30 minutes in the morning and 30 in the afternoon, will eliminate the constant distraction (and refocusing of your flashlight) caused by desktop notifications and the temptation of replying instantly.

Limiting access to social media, turning off notifications on your smartphone or desktop, and closing unnecessary windows are other simple ways to help you keep your focus where it belongs and maximize your productivity.

The HR Support Center is a service offered to Payroll Partners clients, and provides access to exclusive, industry-leading HR tools and resources, for just a few dollars a month. From employee handbooks, job descriptions and other commonly used HR documents, to up-to-the-minute law alerts, easy-to-understand state and federal law libraries, and unique training videos, the HR Support Center will help you effectively manage your HR compliance and employee relations needs.

Legal Disclaimer: Payroll Partners and/or the HR Support Center are not engaged in the practice of law. The content in this email should not be construed as legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions concerning your situation or the information you have obtained, you should consult with a licensed attorney. Payroll Partners and/or the HR Support Center cannot be held legally accountable for actions related to this article.