Professor Pete Alexander

Stress Relief Tool – Don’t Multitask

If you think multitasking makes you more efficient, think again.

Do a simple search on Google about multitasking and hundreds of articles will come up supporting the perils of multitasking.

Unfortunately, our brains just aren’t equipped for multitasking work that requires brainpower. When you’re trying to accomplish two dissimilar tasks, each one requiring some level of consideration and attention, multitasking falls apart. Your brain just can’t take in and process two simultaneous, separate streams of information and encode them fully into short-term memory. And when information doesn’t make it into short-term memory, it can’t be transferred into long-term memory for recall later.1

In fact, the true cost of multitasking multiple projects can be enormous on the actual time we spend on each project. Each time we context switch, where we move from one project to the next, it costs us valuable time ramping up to mentally be ready to work on that new project. So when we are only concentrating on one project we can focus 100 percent of our time to that project; when we have five projects we are only able to provide four percent of our time during the day to each of those five projects – making the completion of those projects much slower.2

Bottom line: multitasking works against you. It’s making you less efficient, not more. And when you are less efficient, the work piles up. And when the work piles up, your stress level increases. Do yourself and your career, peers, family and friends a favor and be fully present for each of your responsibilities – not split between multiple projects because your brain doesn’t work proportionately to your priorities.

Please note that there is no guarantee a particular stress relief tool will work for you. Thus you must take complete responsibility for using them and for your own physical and emotional wellbeing. Further, Professor Pete Alexander is not a licensed health professional. Please consult qualified health practitioners regarding your use of any stress relief technique. Medical advice must only be obtained from a physician or qualified health practitioner.

  1. Merrill, D. – Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work
  2. Francis, T. and Herman, T. – The Real Cost of Context Switching

Posted by Professor Pete Alexander

A seasoned professional with over 35 years of Sales, Marketing, Educational and Entrepreneurial experience, Pete has battled the negative effects of stress head-on and has developed the LIGHTEN™ stress relief model that motivates his peers to better protect their health and handle challenging situations with grace and success.

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