When we become stuck on the hamster wheel, we are essentially running at high speed, burning lots of energy, and getting nowhere fast. We work harder and gain little, if any, ground. It’s when that little voice in your head keeps asking, “How long can you keep going like this?” Or we reflect back on our day, wonder where it all went and what we actually accomplished as our to-do list still looks the same. I’ve been there and most likely so have you.
Today’s world comes with a host of distractions from email notifications, cell phone pings, social media alerts, and the list goes on. As a culture, we pride ourselves on our ability to multi-task and it comes at the cost of productivity. In fact, “multitasking” reduces our productivity by as much as 40%. In addition, it can drop our IQ by as much as 15 points. Is this really something we want to pride ourselves on? Count me out.
The reality is, we don’t multitask, we shift our focus. Unless we are talking about autonomic habits like blinking, breathing, and a heartbeat, we are not made to multitask. In fact, every time we shift our focus due to a distraction, it takes anywhere from 12-25 minutes to get back on task. That means a total of 10 distractions can cost us up to 250 minutes within a work day. Good use of time? I think not.