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May 11, 2021

“No Thank You” to Multitasking

We all have calendars full of things to do. We all have appointments we must either schedule or squeeze into our already booked calendars.

Multitasking is the carrying out of two or more tasks at the same time by one person. The question is: Is multitasking really beneficial or good for us? Multitasking feels like a natural solution to us because society has taught us that being able to complete more than one task at a time makes us super productive or offers us a feeling of accomplishment. We know that throughout the day, we find ourselves answering emails, text message alerts, while simultaneously we hear a sound that we have a message from a co-worker in the Teams chat and also hear an email alert that reminds
us of the Zoom call for the after work meeting for that volunteer group we’re a part of. The list goes on and on and on. Oh, and by the way, we need to make dinner between our meetings, because, after all, we’re “working from home” now. Whew! I’m tired just from typing all of those tasks!

Many times we want to pat ourselves on the back for getting so much done, but in reality we feel overworked, overwhelmed and depleted. These are characteristics that can accompany the art of multitasking. Multitasking can actually set you back. The
ability to switch between tasks often makes you feel like you’re getting a lot done, but several studies have shown that this constant routine of switching gears isn’t an effective way to make progress and can take a toll on our brains. Not only can this
habit sap your energy, but constant multitasking can make it seem more appealing, creating an addictive cycle.

I hate to break it to you multitaskers: the feeling of accomplishment via multitasking is a false sensation. Multitaskers often get addicted to this cycle of small-scale accomplishment without realizing they are spending more time completing their work
than if they had chosen to stick to one task.

The singular approach is called monotasking – which means cutting out the jumping around and focusing deeply on just one project.

The truth is when you force yourself to switch from one task to another, you are not only wasting time but draining your energy reserves. Your energy reserves store up at least 55% of energy that kicks in at the very time you need it, let’s say exercising
perhaps. Even a quick glance at your smartphone, or an article in another window, can drastically reduce your cognitive function.

According to research from Stanford, the more people multitask, the more they are training their brains to be scattered, and the less they are able to be creative or develop emotional intelligence. In some cases, it can even drop your IQ by multiple points, so that your brain becomes as well-performing as an 8-year-old’s. Now if that isn’t an astounding fact to cause you to halt further multitasking, then I don’t know what is.

Let’s face it: the world relentlessly teaches us to be “more productive”…and then when we are totally overwhelmed, there is this medication for this and this medication for that. We must teach ourselves and our loved ones to say “no thank you” to

Here are some suggestions to help you say “no thank you” to multitasking but still remain fruitful and accomplish the things on your To-Do list:
1) Make lists. Lists help us focus and you will find checking off the items on your lists proves to be extremely helpful.
2) Set goals. Goals give us vision. Vision brings clarity. Just remember, when you set the goal, you must move in action to accomplish the goal. Oops, sorry, I’m preaching. Anywho, you get the picture, right?
3) Set a routine and get some sleep. Once you practice your routine, stick to it until it become a habit. Sleep rejuvenates us and prepares us for the next day’s tasks.

Have fun saying “no thank you” to multitasking. Email me and let me know how it’s going!

By: Eden Barbee-Mabry / (@gardenonthegram – IG/ @EdenJBe – Twitter)
Eden Barbee-Mabry is an Education Support Analyst with the State of Georgia. Eden is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan and was led to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia after graduating from Clark Atlanta University in 1988. Eden joined Black Girls Run! in Spring of 2016 and graduated from the Walk B4 You Run program in June of 2016 and is currently Run Lead for the Fairburn, Georgia group. Eden is a purse lover and strives to inspire every woman because her belief is that although the circumstances may be different, every woman can extract strength from another woman’s story.