You’re hurrying to catch the bus, while simultaneously helping your little one with their backpack, and trying to get in touch with your supervisor to tell them you’ll be late. You’re busy, you’re really really busy. It feels like there’s just not enough time in the day. So, you multitask. You do seven things at once and feel relived that you’re at least partially getting to all of the things that need your attention.
Here’s the bad news: multitasking often doesn’t work, and can even be harmful. This is why:
Your brain can’t handle it. Studies have found that although the human brain can often handle two complicated tasks fairly easily, adding a third task can cause you to make mistakes you wouldn’t otherwise make.
Example: you’re walking down Queens Boulevard to the subway station, while doing a little online shopping and listening to your favorite comedian’s latest podcast. You may not realize it, but this is too much for your brain to handle. While normally you’d never ignore the ‘do not walk sign’ and risk being hit by a car, if your brain is in overload you may miss important cues and find yourself seriously injured.
It’s scientifically unlikely you’re actually good at multi-tasking. In fact it’s highly unlikely. According to researchers only about 2% of the population truly excels at multitasking.
If you’re multitasking at work, you may be putting others at risk. Considering the fact most people are unable to successfully multitask, and multitasking often leads to error, it is extremely important that individuals in certain fields, like healthcare, construction, and transportation refrain from multitasking no matter how stressed or rushed they feel. A doctor attempting to multitask could easily fail to diagnose a serious condition, a multitasking construction worker could easy injure another worker on the job, and a transportation worker multitasking behind the wheel could cause a serious pile up.
We encourage you to slow down, plan ahead, and to not be too hard on yourself when you’re unable to manage 75 things at once!
If you or a loved one were injured due to the negligence of others, contact us today.