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How many IQ points do you drop when multi-tasking? Time Management

How many IQ points do you drop when multi-tasking? The answer (insert drum roll…) – 10Multitasking points! That's right, a whole 10 points according to a British study. When people tried to juggle messages through e-mail and/or chat with work they loss the same amount of IQ points as if they had missed an entire nights sleep. And more than double the four points loss through smoking marijuana! And get this, men lose more IQ points than women.

Studies have shown that our brains switch between one activity and another (called executive control). We really don't do two things at once very well. The more complex the task like browsing the web and talking on the phone, or driving and talking on the phone, the more difficult it becomes to switch quickly. Slower switching can mean more than just lack of productivity, it can mean life or death.

So what is the answer – FOCUS. See the following past posts below for some solid time management tips to help you keep the focus. What have you done as a leader in your organization to help create focus?

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Eat a Frog as Mark Twain Suggested – Perfect Time Management Tip

Time Management – Two Important Things I Learned this Last Week

Time Management – Two Important Things I Learned this Last Week – Part II

Time Management Tips That Could Change Your Life – Part I

Part II – Time Management Tips That Could Change Your Life

Mike Rogers

Resources
CNN Article "E-mails 'hurt IQ more than pot.'" April 22, 2005

  • Jack Vincent

    Great point! Many people sing their own praises about their ability to multi-task, and then they miss the deeper meaning of important discussions, etc. I once heard a prominent CEO say, “When people are working on their Blackberries in meetings I lead or meetings I participate in, I tell them, ‘How would you like me to start reading a newspaper right here and now? It’s no different.’” Hear! Hear!

  • Debra Brown

    Mike, I read your entire post. Bravo! I chuckled when I remember a comment made by a seminar participant last October. His boss asked why he was continuing to text message her…wasn’t she paying for him to be in a seminar that day? Shouldn’t he be paying attention? I really appreciated that boss’ support. I truly believe our productivity is suffering when we overly multi-task. I would be interested in getting the name of the British study so I can add it to my database. Thanks.

  • http://www.teamworkandleadership.com Mike Rogers

    Thanks Debra and Jack. Debra, you can access the article that references the study in a CNN Article “E-mails ‘hurt IQ more than pot.’” April 22, 2005

  • http://www.salesprogress.com Shannon Gburzynski

    Fascinating article, thanks for sharing this research. We would all love to think that we can do 100 things at once, and be mean multitasking working machines, this reminds us we can’t do it all, all the time.

  • http://www.teamworkandleadership.com Mike Rogers

    Thanks Shannon. It’s almost like the word multi-tasking is cool for some people. But the reality is you aren’t as effective as you think : )
    Mike

  • Pingback: Three Important Tips for Wasting Lots of Time at Work – Time Management

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Want to Know More About The Author of This Post?

I have led, trained and consulted in business with hundreds of individuals and teams on leadership and team concepts. My greatest satisfaction in life is seeing others succeed. I am currently the owner of "Teamwork and Leadership Bloggings with Michael Rogers" and OpenTheMeeting.com.

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