Oakland, Ca-How Multitasking And Attention Residue Hurt Your Productivity-Mental Mastery Coach, Eastbay, Ca
“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.”– David Allen
Do you feel like you’re running from one event to the other without taking a break? Does your life feel like one, big to-do list?
I recently gave a presentation about ways to manage stress and calm the nervous system. I was presenting to a group of professionals at the Bishop Ranch corporate complex in the Bay Area. One participant asked me how he can lower his stress as he’s running from one project to the next, and then to the next and so on…
When I’m teaching stress resilience, I get this question a lot. The question is how to manage stress when your to-do list is flowing out of the door and down the street. As soon as one item gets crossed off, there’s another job, task, responsibility to take its place.
I can go so many directions with this kind of struggle. The direction I’m going to take you today is about multitasking and attention residue, because this is what I determined to be the struggle for the man asking the question.
First, let’s talk about the science of your brain. Attention residual is a form of mental multitasking. The brain doesn’t like multitasking. Unfortunately, most people believe it’s the only way to get the piles and piles of work done. Science is saying that’s a big, fat lie. Why? Because the brain can’t learn or concentrate on two things at once (exception: we can talk and focus on another task like driving, for example).
Here are some ways multitasking is undermining your efforts and your health:
- Decreased focus, especially if you’re trying to toggle back and forth between tasks. Remember, attention residue?
- It impairs your decisions. Studies show that you temporarily lose IQ points.
- It increases your stress and anxiety level. Brain scans for chronic multitaskers showed less grey matter, which is linked to depression, anxiety and impulse control.
Let’s get back to attention residue. Along with interruptions and distractions, we’re also stymied by attention residue, which is the lingering focus of the previous tasks.
Watch the video from my presentation where I share strategies to help with attention residue, in order to increase focus, productivity and creativity.
Do you want help with stress? Do you want to learn how to be more stress resilient? I’m here to help. Schedule a free discovery call to learn more.