Multitasking may give you the feeling of accomplishing more, but at what cost?

Let’s face it, there’s a lot to do in a day and when we encounter busy days, we usually multitask in hopes of getting more done around the same time. Running your own practice can wear you out and you can easily experience burn out faster if you focus on multiple things at once, but multitasking does more than increase the chance of burn out.

Stanford researchers investigated groups of people who believed multitasking helped their performance but found instead – it hindered them. (Stanford) The heavy multitaskers who felt multitasking boosted their performance performed worse and took longer to complete tasks than those who focused on completing one task at a time. The reason behind this is quite simple: Multitasking scrambles their thoughts together and makes it to where they have trouble filtering out unnecessary information to complete a certain task; this adds additional time to the tasks they try to handle all at once as they are now trying to reorganize and separate their thoughts repeatedly as they switch from one to the other. Those who chose to tackle one task at a time have completed their tasks faster with better end results.

“Even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.” – David Meyer, PhD. (American Psychological Association)

Those who are heavy multitaskers should try to break the habit. Multitasking will fuel any existing difficulties you have with concentration, organization, and attention to detail. Talentsmart, a world provider of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) products and services, has tested more than one million individuals on the subject of EQ – finding 90% of top performers to have high EQs as EQ is responsible for 58% of your job performance. When one multitasks, it is found to lower two emotional intelligence skills: your self- and social awareness. Self and social awareness are two skills crucial to your success at work.

When multitasking becomes too much of a habit, the brain suffers and it begins to affect your memory, learning, and performance. Heavy multitaskers who were involved in the Stanford study still saw their brains being less effective and efficient even while they were focusing on a single task. The brain adapts to their habit and makes it difficult for their brain to readjust. While these changes to the brain may not be permanent, it is recommended to break multitasking habits in order to perform better and to support your mental health.

Multitasking could distant you or make you forget small details and miss an opportunity in making a patient’s experience a memorable one. Word of mouth is extremely important for your practice and small details create a huge impact on a patient’s experience. When it comes to multitasking, it can stray your focus away from your patient and back to your other tasks you have yet to complete and could, in turn, create a not so ideal patient experience.

Patients want to trust your practice and feel they are getting the attention they deserve, and if they seek help from someone whose mind is focused on other things, it could leave them feeling ignored and unsatisfied with the service. Even having a cell phone nearby can cause friction in a conversation as it is seen you are waiting to handle something else on your mind. Multitasking also increases the chance of errors and could construct mental walls that keep you from receiving additional information a patient gives you to keep the brain from experiencing information overload – which could affect your note-taking and how you naturally react to your patient.

To help you stay focused on your patients and away from mental exhaustion, our system is designed for Chiropractic offices to not only tackle everyday tasks but to become a part of your team. ChiroWebMD will handle repetitive tasks you are expected to complete daily and is made to enhance the performance of all office staff so your practice can stay productive. A practice will stunt its ability to grow if it does not stay productive, focused, and consistent with its performance.

Running a practice takes a lot of effort, and there is no reason for you to pack on additional stress. As a Chiropractor, your focus should be on what you specialize in without the disturbance of tasks ruining your flow. A disturbance in flow will not only affect you, but staff and patients around you at the time the disturbance occurs. If you are about to see another patient, and suddenly remember a task, it could set the appointment back or the task could be performed unsatisfactory under the stress.

Our system not only automates your tasks but allows you to schedule completion dates for certain tasks such as follow ups, email blasts, or daily schedules. Everything can be set up ahead of time so you can maintain having those smooth office days consistently and dedicate all your focus on what you were made to do.

Do not let multitasking stay on board as a habit in your life to negatively affect your practice and mental health. Using a system created for these tasks will allow you to quit the multitasking habit in your office and when you do: your patients, staff and brain will thank you.

 

References

American Psychological Association. (2006). Multitasking: Switching Costs. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/research/action/multitask

Stanford. (n.d.). Media Multitaskers Pay Mental Price. Stanford. Retrieved from https://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/august24/multitask-research-study-082409.html

 

Tags: Chiropractic Software Mental Health Multitasking practice Stress Reduction Team Player