How many IQ points do you drop when multi-tasking? The answer (insert drum roll…) – 10 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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CNN Article "E-mails 'hurt IQ more than pot.'" April 22, 2005