Multitasking kills personal productivity

One simple thing to do if you want to increase drastically your productivity is to work by batch. It will save you at least 50% of your time.

busy female talking on smartphone and checking messages during work in contemporary office
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Quick test

Try the following test :

  1. Take a blanc paper and your watch or phone to time yourself
  2. Write the word “MULTITASKING” on the paper while after having written each letter, you write its position in the word
  3. So : you write “M”, then under the letter you write “1”, then you write “U” and “2” etc. until you reach the “G” and “12”

How long did it take you? Write it down on the paper.

Then : Do the same exercise, but instead of stopping for each letter to put its position in the word, write first the entire word “MULTITASKING” and then, only after the word is fully written, write the numbers corresponding to the position of every letter in the word.

How long did it take you? Write it down on the paper.

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50% more time

Dr. Théo Compernolle writes in his book “Brainchains” that people are losing at least 50% time when multitasking (first way) compared to batch processing (second way). Also on a production line, we try to avoid changing too often the type of assembly we might do to limit the job-change costs.

How to apply it?

The result of this test and the research made on the topic are logical and seem obvious. But how can I apply it in my daily life, with the many interruptions happening in any company’s office these days?

  1. First, by accepting that we are our best enemy in this area : if we would already not interrupt ourselves, we would reduce by probably 50% the number of interruptions we have to deal with every day.
  2. Then, by using what we have at hand to help us focus : we can cut our email and social media alerts, we can use the home working days to focus on particularly complex files, etc.
  3. We can create some efficient working habits, like handling our mails only at specific times of the days, not outside these periods.

These are just a few things you can do to stay focused on one thing at the time. The multitasking environment is not going to disappear, but if you can at least handle it better for some aspects of your work and life in a consistant way, I guarantee you will be more productive and even more important, you will feel much more in control and happy about your work and life.

Just do it!

Why not giving a try? See how better you can work if you decide to handle your emails 1 hour in the morning, 1 hour in the afternoon. Can you do it? Tomorrow? How does it feel?

Please tell me hereunder 😉



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