It’s finally official – women are better than men at multi-tasking, thanks to higher levels of oestrogen hormone, as found by Swiss scientists in a recent experiment. But there have been countless studies so far that have unanimously proven that, irrespective of the gender, the human brain is not wired to multi-task and that chronic multi-tasking is in fact an illness, not strength. Yet, so may (if not all) women around the world juggle work, home, kids, social life, family/personal finances and countless other heavy-duty tasks on a normal day.
Hey ladies, if you are reading this article & making that smoothie for your kid/ironing clothes/getting dressed for work at the same time, STOP RIGHT THERE. See how multi-tasking is damaging your brain health, besides tossing the coveted life balance and any attempts at stress management you may have been making, right out the window!
- Multi-tasking lowers your efficiency and performance: No two tasks can be performed simultaneously with the same efficiency and level of output. While women’s brains can switch from one task to another rapidly, they can only process one activity well at a time. So why waste the time, inviting rework or having to make do with average outputs?
- Multi-tasking reduces your IQ over time: The effect of multi-tasking on IQ is similar to that of smoking Marijuana over a period! Multi-tasking during cognitive tasks is even worse than routine tasks such as washing, cleaning, etc.
- Multi-tasking causes irreparable brain damage: After a chronic multi-tasking illness, if you do revert to mono-tasking, know that the damage is done already. Researchers found that high multitaskers had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region responsible for empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control. The result – lower EQ which means lower chances of professional success as EQ ranks as one of the top qualities of successful people. Have you been behaving as an emotional wreck lately?
- Multi-tasking will leave you stressed, exhausted, and angry: Ladies, just because your brains are better than men at multi-tasking, doesn’t mean you should be wearing this achievement as a crown every single day! Don’t take your ability to juggle for granted – reserve it for desperate or special occasions only.
Every time you multi-task, know that it’s cognitive-cost is not just momentary
The damage caused by the multi-tasking menace is permanent, which means every time you juggle with an overflowing to-do list, you harm not just your performance in the moment, but a part of your brain that could affect your future life and work. Instead of switching tasks from minute to minute, experts say it’s better to dedicate a 20-minute chunk of time to a single task, then switch to the next one.
Learn the art of delegation
For starters, delegation is all about unburdening yourself without letting go control completely. Which means while you can outsource tasks such as home management and repairs, gardening, party organization, vacation planning, gift buying, personal finances and taxation, grocery shopping, pet care, etc. to a virtual assistant, you get to maintain complete control over the budget & quality of output. Here is a list of sample tasks you can delegate to a virtual assistant. The key to striking the right life balance lies in prioritizing right – where and when to multi-task and what to delegate.