Feb 16, 2015
Impact of Email (4) - Forces you to multitask and lowers productivity
The previous post in this series discussed the effects of email on your self-control. This post speaks of the damage that email inflicts on your productivity.
# 4: Email Does a Number on Your Productivity
Email tends to get you running in several directions at the same time. While you're responding to an email from a colleague, you are probably also working on a presentation that needs to be emailed to the boss, forwarding a vendor's invoice to accounts and also conducting an email conversation with a client. In a nutshell, email is a multitasking nightmare.
No problem you say? I could multitask in my sleep you say? For those of you who consider yourselves champion multitaskers (this includes anyone who feels superior to the lesser breed of human being that can perform only one task at a time), here's news: research is increasingly beginning to indicate that focusing on more than one thing at a time, is a recipe for disaster.
Studies demonstrate that switching from one task to the next takes a serious toll on productivity. Multitaskers have more trouble tuning out distractions than people who focus on one task at a time. Also, doing so many different things at once can actually impair cognitive ability.
It is therefore advisable to handle just one email / task at a time. Or better, simply switch off your email for a while and get some actual productive work done.