Devotees of the 1970’s sitcom, M*A*S*H, will remember Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, the haughty surgeon who declared, “I do one thing at a time, I do it very well, and then I move on.” Turns out, he was holding one of the keys to happiness.
The human attention span is finite. Multi-tasking might feel efficient, but it’s actually detrimental to the job at hand and to the person doing it.
Your brain is designed to focus, and it can’t focus on two, three, or more things at a time. Sure, you can do them all, but you’ll be sacrificing the problem-solving skills and expertise you would bring to each task if you did them one at a time.
Think you’re better when you’re multi-tasking? So do most people, but according to publications like Psychology Today, Health and Forbes Magazine, multi-tasking causes anxiety and errors, and takes more time than if you performed the tasks one at a time. According to Gary Winch, PhD, who has done extensive studies on switch-tasking, moving back and forth between tasks reduces productivity, plus you never get that “in the zone” feeling. By the way, scientists call multi-tasking switch-tasking because that’s what your brain is really doing – switching back and forth from one task to the other.
So resolve to do one thing – do it very well – and then move on to the next thing. Your stress levels will take a tumble while your happiness quotient skyrockets!
I’d love to hear how solo-tasking leads to happiness for you – please contact me here or on my Facebook page and share your wisdom. And if you’d like a happiness quick tip to show up in your “in” box to start each week off right, sign up and it’s yours. Just scroll to the bottom of any page on my website – sandy j weaver dot com – the sign-up form is in the footer. Have a happier day!