With the rise of technology and a controlling digital social platform, finding focus and relaxation in a fast-paced society can be difficult to harness. With all of the applications and online tools available for multi-tasking, why would someone ever suggest that less is often more?
The world is unknowingly (or maybe knowingly) moving in a direction of volume and production over quality. How many people can we reach? What will everyone say about this decision we make? How many projects can we take on this week?
All of these questions are the basis for a discussion often overlooked in the world of business and personal efficiency. As we train our brains to think differently over the course of decades this article will no longer apply. But as it stands today, we are incapable of providing efficient results when multi-tasking, especially when comparing efficiency to a more focused approach.
Here's why we have a problem.
The Rules of the Brain
Compartmentalization â€“ The brain consists of various parts, each providing an important function in the overall performance of the physical body. There is a section for short-term memory, long-term memory, and emotional response. The most efficient, intelligent, and productive people in the world learn how to compartmentalize information for usage when a situation requiring cognitive response is apparent. On the contrary, when people attempt to combine tasks, ranging in different difficulty levels of response, we find a lapse of efficient reception.
For example, a baseball player must learn how to swing, run, throw, and catch - but he never does all of these muscle memory responses at one time. Not only is it physically impossible, but if you ever see a baseball player attempting to do this action, you would probably laugh.
Why Are You Not Laughing? â€“ If you would laugh at the baseball player, why would you not laugh when someone is attempting to answer phones, send emails, check Facebook, and balance coffee in their hands with a stack full of papers?
No, many people would say that person is working hard. Rather than applying compartmentalization and building efficiency through repetition and effective cognitive storage, you're actually building a habit of non-effective consequences, much like attempting to balance a ball on your head while standing on one foot.
Creativity and Thought-Process â€“ Action works a different part of the brain than thinking. When you're able to build these responses in conjunction with each other you're able to become more effective in life. Multi-tasking creates cognitive confusion in the brain, which is okay if the tasks are relatively simple. If you need to walk and talk on the phone, you're brain is able to handle this task without mix up (most of the time). On the contrary, if you're attempting to find a creative spirit or solve a complex math problem while talking on the phone, you'll see time efficiency and result degradation a result of your efforts. If you want to be creative or solve problems in the world, you're brain must be focused on one thing at a time and controlled in an effort towards a certain, specific result.
The Bottom Line
Technology allows us to categorize, consolidate, and process information quicker. This is an amazing new ability that we have in the time management and organization of brain power.
But if used the wrong way, we can become subject to the dependency of tools rather than brain power - effectively making the majority of humanity dumber along the way. Rather than attempting to accomplish much, work on accomplishing little with efficiency and then move onto the next task. You'll find that your results will prove more productive and lucrative in long-term thought processes.