As you read this, you’re probably doing a million things at once — responding to a text message, munching on an afternoon snack, posting to your Instagram story. Our world has turned into such a busy place that we can’t just do one thing at a time. This isn’t great news, though. Recent studies have shown that multitasking might actually be harming us, our careers, and our economy.
Not surprisingly, millennials are leading the multitasking game, which means they’re the ones who are getting hit the hardest by the negative effects.
Apparently, in the course of a single hour, millennials switch their attention 27 different times. You might think you’re channeling your inner Hermione Granger and getting the job done like the boss that you are, but you’re actually screwing with your brain’s cognitive and emotional control – because you’re lowering your IQ by a whopping 15 points. That’s pretty much the same as if you pulled an all-nighter the night before and didn’t sleep a single wink.
Our tendency to get bored with what we’re doing trickles over into our jobs as well. 21% of millennials changed jobs in the last year, and 91% of them only stay at one job for less than three years. Compare that to the fact that everyone else sticks around their job for about five-and-a-half years at a time. (It’s safe to say we’re impulsive people!)
This isn’t only affecting millennials, though.
It’s costing the U.S. economy a hefty chunk of cash that could otherwise be used for important things, like ending world poverty and making hovercrafts available to everyone. Millennials decrease in multitasking productivity results in a $450 billion loss every year. Furthermore, all of the career changes cost America $30.5 billion, annually.
If you can relate to what we’re talking about and you can help it, slow down. Do one thing at a time and really focus your attention on what’s in your hands. You’ll have more to show for it — and so will the whole economy.