The Real Cost of Multi-Tasking (Task-Switching)

Sellers do a lot of task juggling. It just seems necessary. Unfortunately, it comes at huge cost.

First, let’s dispel a myth. Multi-Tasking is impossible (sorry ladies). Our brain can do but one thing at a time. If we’re working on multiple tasks, it switches from one task to the other. And so we Task-Switch or Context-Switch as it’s more accurately called, we don’t Multi-Task.

That comes at huge cost, both in terms of productivity and your health. It shrinks our brains literally!

According to computer scientist and psychologist Gerald Weinberg, taking on additional tasks simultaneously can destroy up to 80% of your productive time. That’s because you lose 20% of your productive time with each switch in context. And it compounds

  • Focusing on one task at a time, 100% of your productive time available
  • Juggling two tasks at a time, 40% of your productive time is available for each task and 20% is lost to context switching.
  • Juggle five tasks at a time and you lode 80% to context switching. You’re only productive 20% of the time

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To learn about the health risks of task switching, read this article

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