Multi-tasking Reduces Productivity: How to use a tomato for better focus

Did you know a tomato can help you manage your time? That multi-tasking can make you slow? Wondering how to efficiently finish tasks? We’ve got some answers.

Life can be challenging and stressful, especially when you’re transitioning from high school to college or from summer-mode to work-mode. So much to do, so little time! What’s the best way to make use of that little time? If you thought multi-tasking, you’re not alone. Checking your emails while writing a paper?  Watching Game of Thrones while reading a chapter?  Texting a friend while making a sandwich? Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking is not as time-saving as once thought. It is slowing you down.

According to an article by the American Psychological Association, research has demonstrated that multi-tasking slows down productivity because it takes your brain more time to switch between tasks than it does to focus on one task and complete it. The more complicated the task, the more time is lost between task-switching. Time lost is partly due to time spent remembering where one left off upon return to a task. In fact, Meyer states that “even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time” (American Psychological Association, 2006).

In lieu of multi-tasking, try the Pomodoro Technique to maximize your productivity and keep your mind focused on the task at hand. This technique requires a timer and repetition. It allows for mental breaks so when you re-start the task, your mind is fresh and ready to be productive.

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Picture Credit: Fractus Learning

To use the Pomodoro Technique:

  1. First decide what task you will work on.
  2. Next, set a timer to 25 minutes.
  3. Once the timer rings, take a 5 minute break.
  4. Repeat this process 4 times and reward yourself with a 15-30 minute break.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Adapt the technique to meet your needs. For instance, if you lose focus in less than 25 minutes, try shorter work sessions and build up to the full 25 minute work sessions.
  • If you remember something while working on the task, quickly write it down so you can focus on it later.
  • If the timer rings and you’re in the middle of a task, finish it.

Here are some great ways to give yourself a 5- to 30-minutes reward between study sessions, especially if you’re in the Marshall Student Center. At our Wellness Center (MSC 1504), you can:

  • Enjoy a free chair massage
  • Grab a sleep pack to ensure a good night’s rest.

 

What are you waiting for? Try the Pomodoro Technique to have a more productive today and a less stressful tomorrow.

Tell us what you think! Has the Pomodoro Technique helped you and how? What method(s) have you found increase your productivity and which have not? Comment your answers below and/or tell us what you want to read about next. Your topic could be featured next week!

 

 

 

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