Is Multitasking Good Or Bad For The Mental Health

Last Update on June 16, 2022 : Published on June 17, 2022
effect of Multitasking on Mental Health

We all have mentioned somewhere in our life that we are good at multitasking! I also used to think that multitasking was good until and unless I had a baby and I had to manage my office work as well!

For me, the definition of multitasking changed at that point only! I used to think that I am a multitasking woman and I can easily manage everything. But I was wrong!  I begin to think if multitasking is a good thing or not for our mental health? Multitasking was good for a day or two, but it is not good if you’re planning to manage everything at once throughout!

Specifically, it impacts your mental health. If you also think that multitasking is a good thing, do give a full read to this blog to know how multitasking impacts our mental health negatively and what’s the psychology related to multitasking.

Multitasking is a Big Myth: Know Why?

Researchers found that multitasking negatively impacts our memory and the capability to concentrate and focus. It has been proved in a study that people who multitask face the problem of remembering information. People who complete one task at a time have a more sharp memory and have maintained focus. The ability to pay focus is bad in people who multitask.

Additionally, one study revealed that multitasking lowers IQ and also impacts sleeping quality. Not only has this, but people who use multiple devices (like TV, phone, and computer) at the same time tend to have less brain density. It also impacts cognitive functioning and empathy.

There are a lot of myths related to multitasking like:

  • Multitasking is good for our productivity.
  • Multitasking sharpens memory.
  • Multitasking is good for professional purposes.
  • Multitasking is a necessity.

While the above-mentioned points are the common myths related to multitasking, in the next section, let’s see how multitasking impacts our mental health.

How does Multitasking Impact our Mental Health?

Multitasking takes a serious toll on our mental health. Not only this but our productivity levels are also reduced due to multitasking. Multitasking hampers our brain’s ability to perform more tasks. It also results in tiredness, negative thoughts, irritability, and chronic stress.

1. Multitasking makes us distracted

Multitasking makes us distracted because when we focus on multiple tasks at a time we get distracted from the original assignment or from the things that need to be done first. It also reduces our ability to focus.

2. Multitasking reduces our speed

It’s a fact that our speed is reduced and we become less efficient when we continuously switch to multiple tasks. Multiple tasking has more mental health impacts like it impacts our cognitive functioning and makes us more tired.

3. Multitasking reduces our executive functioning

Multitasking is controlled by our executive functioning which controls and manages our cognitive processing. Multitasking reduces our productivity and makes us distracted which directly impacts our executive functioning.

4. Multitasking increases the chances of errors

When multitasking begins to lower our performance level, we become more prone to making errors. Multitasking can also lower our overall performance. For example, we all know that when we use phones while driving, we are prone to making errors while driving.

Related Read: Effective time management strategies

How we can Break the Habit of Multitasking?

If you also feel like multitasking is impacting your overall performance and mental health, you must start making some positive changes to your routine to get back to your productivity level and efficiency. You can try below effective ways to break the habit of multitasking:

1. Schedule everything according to priorities

If you need to perform multiple tasks in a day, try to schedule everything and set them according to priorities so that you can achieve all tasks throughout the day in a productive manner.

2. Take the help of a 20-minute rule

Instead of continuously working, try to focus on one task for 20 minutes then take some rest and shift to another task.

3. Divide your tasks

If you have piled up work, you can divide your tasks into batches.

4. Limit distraction

While working, make sure you’re working under no distractions so that you can maintain your productivity. You can turn the notifications off.

5. Be mindful

Practice mindfulness every day to achieve your goals and increase your focus and attention.

The Power of “One thing at a time”

We all know that the modern working style is demanding and we need to focus on our mental health as well. Therefore, you can also try single-tasking. Single-tasking has more advantages in terms of mental health. Single-tasking makes you feel less stressed, provides you an ability to perform prioritized tasks, and opens up your creative pores.

I hope this blog helps you with understanding why multitasking is bad for our mental health. Comment down and share your views on the same. For more such content, connect with us on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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