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I recently read an article about multitasking. It told me something I’m sure I knew but just did not want to admit: We do not squeeze out any more productivity multitasking, and in fact, we are less productive when we’re multitasking. According to JordanRivals.com research done at Microsoft’s office in Redmond, WA, showed that employees took on average 15 minutes to return to the task they were working on after being interrupted by a phone call, email, or instant message. Fifteen minutes! Add up all those 15 minutes and you have a real disjointed, unproductive day.
In almost every study I looked at preparing for this article, they all had one fact in common: people who multi-task the most, and claim to be the best at it, are actually the worst at it. “People can’t do it very well,” Professor Earl Miller said of multitasking. “And when they say they can, they’re deluding themselves.”
I think when multitasking we are trying to adjust our evolutionary status to the speed of change in technology. Technology is simply moving too fast. When multitasking we are not only sacrificing brain cells we are losing money.
What kind of message are you sending your customer when he can hear you typing out an email while you’re talking to him? Ever check your phone while you’re in an important client meeting? Think that makes the client feel important? It doesn’t.
Focus. Do one thing at a time and do it well. Listen to the experts and scientists. The facts are there: if you’re a multitasking sales person you’re earning less money than if you would simply focus on one task at a time. Seems pretty intuitive, doesn’t it? Are you paying attention?!
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