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18/10/22

3 min

The surprising benefits of monotasking

The surprising benefits of monotasking
Monotasking is the ability to focus on a single task or activity.

Multitasking has become the norm in many workplaces. We are encouraged to juggle multiple tasks at once in the name of efficiency. However, recent studies have shown that multitasking can lead to reduced productivity and increased stress levels1. If you struggle to finish your work, it might be time to focus on monotasking instead. This can help to improve productivity and reduce stress levels. Studies have also shown that monotasking can lead to increased creativity and innovation.
 

The danger of multitasking

Multitasking can be a natural productivity killer. In fact, studies have shown that it can reduce productivity by as much as 40%2. That's because when you're trying to do multiple things at once, your brain has to switch back and forth between tasks, which takes time and energy. So if you want to be more productive, focus on one thing at a time. You'll get the job done faster and with fewer mistakes.

Multitasking can be quite harmful to people who tend to worry a lot. Multitasking can also take a toll on your mental health, leading to feelings of anxiety and stress. When you're constantly trying to juggle multiple tasks, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and like you're not accomplishing anything3. This can lead to increased levels of anxiety and stress, which are detrimental to your mental health. If you struggle with multitasking, taking a step back and focusing on one task at a time is essential. This will help you stay more focused and productive and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by all you have to do. 

How can monotasking keep the brain healthy

You must give your full attention when you're working on a task. However, when trying to do two or more things at once, your brain can't focus on all of them equally. This is because the parts of your brain used for each task aren't getting the same amount of stimulation. When you monotask, though, you're able to give each task its own focused attention. This means that the parts of your brain used for one job are likely to be more effective than if you were trying to do two or more tasks simultaneously.

Regarding productivity, monotasking is often seen as the best way to get things done. And recent research suggests that not only is monotasking more effective than multitasking, and it may also be better for your brain health. One study found that people who regularly practice monotasking have thicker cortexes in regions of the brain associated with attention and executive control4. This suggests that monotasking can help improve attention span and cognitive control. 

Another study found that people who frequently multitask tend to have less gray matter in the anterior cingulate cortex.5

Brain regions are essential for regulating emotions and controlling impulses. This finding suggests that multitasking can lead to poorer emotional regulation. So if you want to keep your brain healthy and productive, stick to monotasking!

Closing points

Monotasking is beneficial for both the brain and productivity levels. By monotasking, you can focus on one thing at a time, which helps you learn better and retain information more effectively. You are also less likely to make mistakes since you are not trying to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. Multitasking can lead to information overload, decreased productivity, and health problems.

Multitasking can be difficult because it requires us to switch between different tasks rapidly. When doing this, we often find that our brains cannot quickly process all the new information. Leading to cognitive fatigue or even problems with our work performance. By monotasking, we can take things one step at a time and avoid any of these issues.

Monotasking is essential because it allows us to focus on a single task without distractions from outside sources. This allows us greater control over our environment and the ability to complete tasks successfully.

Finally, by monotasking, we are also reducing stress levels in our lives since multitaskers tend to have higher cortisol levels in their bloodstream than those who primarily focus on one task at a time. Reduced stress level leads to improved mental health and general well-being!

So if you want your brain healthy and your productivity levels up – try incorporating some monotasking into your day-to-day routine!



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1. Kendra Cherry, “How Multitasking Affects Productivity and Brain Health”, verywellmind (blog), July 30, 2021, https://www.verywellmind.com/multitasking-2795003.

2. D. Smith, “Multitasking undermines our efficiency, study suggests”, Monitor of Psychology, October 2001, https://www.apa.org/monitor/oct01/multitask.

3. Nisha Khanna, “How to Increase Concentration”, Zongaroo (blog), October 10, 2022, https://www.zongaroo.com/how-to-increase-concentration.

4. Nico Hase, “Training Yourself To Monotask”, Ten Precent Happier (blog), September 10, 2019, https://www.tenpercent.com/meditationweeklyblog/training-yourself-to-monotask.

5. Kep Kee Loh, Ryota Kanai, “Higher Media Multi-Tasking Activity Is Associated with Smaller Gray-Matter Density in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex, plos.org, September 24, 2014, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0106698.

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