The myth of multitasking

The other day I was a little miffed with Jason. You see I had asked him the same question several times with no reply and it started to really annoy me. He, in turn, insisted that he answered me a while back. I, of course, accused him of having a poor memory –  until I found his reply (sent two weeks ago). 

I had absolutely no memory of ever receiving his text. My best guess is that I have been distracted by other things while reading it. 

This reminded me of the problems with multitasking. 

One of the bigger myths of our time is the idea of multitasking. This idea that it is possible to work, while checking for texts and keeping an eye on the news app, all at the same time. 

The reality is that we can't fully concentrate on more than one thing at a time but instead switch between tasks. Meaning that when multitasking what really happens is that our attention shifts constantly and extremely fast between the different tasks at hand. 

We have of course always had to divide our attention between more than one task. But add a smartphone and now every part of our lives including home, school, workplace and leisure time means constant interruptions or distractions. In fact studies have shown that dependent on age we shift our attention between tasks every 2-4 minutes. 

This, of course, means that over time our ability to keep our full attention on one task is weakened.  Being in our “attention shift” mode also means paying less attention and of course are more forgetful. 

The impact of this was clear to see in a research study in the classroom where information retention and grades suffered from attention shifts between messages and listening to the teacher. But this is not just a problem for the young – all ages have shown to be less productive and remember less information when interrupted by their smartphones. 

What is your attention worth?  To you 

For smartphone app developers and various platforms, your attention is what they are after. That’s where their profit lies. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just that this can come at the price of your concentration and your ability to focus. The competition for your attention, coming from your smartphone, combined with daily demands means multitasking.

What if you could cut down the distractions from your smartphone, and be better able to focus, and the perform more effectively? Or be able to be more present and pay more attention? 

What’s that worth to you? Not just in a work context but in all areas of your life.  Such as the nice talk you had with your daughter earlier, or simply being fully present during family mealtime. Maybe it could be getting that project done faster and better. Last but not least, it could mean being able to remember more details and for a longer time. 

We are not suggesting you throw away our smartphone, but rather learn how to use it more for what it can be – a useful tool. And not something that controls your attention. 

We can help you to implement a more conscious use of your phone.

You can read about the "Crack your Smartphone-addiction course" here => 

Best Ditte


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