Scientific research suggests that, contrary to what many people believe about themselves, only 2% of the population is capable of multi-tasking effectively.
If that’s not enough to convince you to try focusing on just one thing at a time, maybe this tidbit will: a survey earlier this year from the HR consulting firm The Energy Project finds that employees who refrain from multitasking aren’t just more productive — they also feel better about their jobs.
The Energy Project’s president and CEO Tony Schwartz explains in a story published by Business Insider that when his company surveyed 20,500 workers in cooperation with Harvard Business School, respondents who said they were able to focus on one task at a time reported being 50% more engaged at their jobs than whose who were not.
In this case, The Energy Project measured engagement based on the extent to which respondents reported being involved with and passionate about their work.
Unfortunately, though, just 20% of the people surveyed said they were actually able to focus on doing one thing at a time at the office.
In addition to being focused, the survey found that engaged employees were more likely than non-engaged workers to feel valued by their employers, to find meaning in their work, and to be able to take breaks for themselves during the workday.
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