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The Illusion of Productivity – Osazeti



In our fast-paced modern world, multitasking has become a common practice. We often believe that juggling multiple tasks simultaneously makes us more productive and efficient. However, the reality is far from this perception. Multitasking is often an illusion that we fall for due to the Dunning-Kruger effect, which blinds us to our limited cognitive abilities and lack of self-awareness. In this article, we will explore the concept of multitasking, its different forms, its effects on our brains, and why it’s essential to prioritize focus and attention over the allure of doing many things at once.



The Two Types of Multitasking


Multitasking can be divided into two main categories: switch tasking and automaticity. In most cases, what we consider multitasking is actually switch tasking. Our brains are not wired to focus on two or more tasks simultaneously. We switch our attention rapidly between tasks, which often leads to reduced efficiency and increased mistakes.


Automaticity, on the other hand, refers to tasks that we can perform automatically without the need for conscious thought. For example, a skilled guitarist can seamlessly switch between chords, strumming, and even singing while playing a song. However, these skills are developed separately through hours of practice and eventually become automatic. The key is that the brain enters automatic mode, requiring less conscious effort.


The Myth of Training to Become a Multitasker


One common misconception is that we can train ourselves to become proficient multitaskers. However, the human brain struggles to focus on multiple new tasks introduced simultaneously. Unless we are repeating the same tasks or actions we’ve mastered, trying to multitask will inevitably lead to mistakes and subpar results. While research suggests that a small percentage of people, around 2.5%, are natural “supertaskers” who can multitask effectively, it’s likely a result of their genetics rather than something that can be trained.


The Downsides of Multitasking


Impairs Short-term Memory: Multitasking can impair our short-term memory, which is essential for tasks like remembering details, tracking thoughts during a conversation, and solving problems. It can make us less efficient in these cognitive processes.


Hinders Creativity: Multitasking and creativity rarely coexist. Creativity requires deep focus, and splitting your attention among several tasks can stifle your ability to think creatively.


Being Present: Multitasking often prevents us from being fully present in the moment. We become absorbed in our devices or other tasks, missing out on the experiences and interactions happening around us.


Increases Mistakes: Multitasking can lead to more errors, especially when we are dealing with important or complex tasks. The brain cannot efficiently focus on multiple activities at once.


Prioritizing Focus and Attention


Instead of attempting to be a multitasker, it’s more productive and achievable to focus on one task at a time. Human brains are best equipped to handle one task with undivided attention. Prioritizing focus over multitasking can lead to greater productivity, improved memory, and better results in tasks that demand concentration.


In a world where distractions abound and our attention spans are challenged daily, mastering the art of single-tasking can be a powerful skill. When we can devote our full attention to one task, we improve our work quality and achieve better results.




Multitasking is a tempting concept, but it often proves to be an illusion that negatively affects our cognitive abilities and productivity. We need to recognize our limited capacity for simultaneous tasks and prioritize focus and attention as valuable skills. In a world filled with distractions, being fully present and dedicated to one task at a time can lead to improved work quality and a more fulfilling life. It’s time to let go of the multitasking myth and embrace the power of concentrated effort.

#Illusion #Productivity #Osazeti

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