Multitaskers Are Suckers For Irrelevancy

If you believe multitasking is an important life skill, think again.

Sure, we all do it.  A lot.  But be warned, in a world where distractions are at an all-time high, this new normal has dire consequences.  Simply put, heavy media multitasking (email, smartphone, text, etc.) negatively impacts performance.  Especially among those who think they are actually being productive.

A well-known Stanford University study conducted by Clifford Nass, Eyal Ophir, and Anthony Wagner showed that high multitasking subjects in the study performed lower across all experiments.  “They’re suckers for irrelevancy.  Everything distracts them,” noted Nass.

“When they’re in situations where there are multiple sources of information coming from the external world or emerging out of memory, they’re not able to filter out what’s relevant to their current goal,” said Wagner.  “That failure to filter means they’re slowed down by that irrelevant information.”

The message here?  Give yourself an advantage by focusing on one thing at a time.  Zig when everyone else is zagging.  In a world where everyone is juggling texts, social media accounts, and email, rise above it.  Just like the Stanford study, as a low multitasker you’ll be more likely to outperform your peers.

Just like your Mom used to tell you – one thing at a time!