Multitasking is a modern myth that needs to be busted. Technology enables us to be connected 24/7 to a variety of channels. Don’t be tempted by the illusion of the hyper-productivity of multitasking. The biological structure of our brain reveals just how little we can actually multitask.
As a job seeker, you have a multitude of tasks to manage every day: resume editing, finding and following up on job leads, keeping up with your network. Outside of the job search, you have a home to manage, friendships and relationships to maintain, maybe even children to take care of. Factor in your cell phone, TV, and Internet, and focusing on just one task in your job search can be a challenge.
When we talk about multitasking, we tend to believe that we can simultaneously work on (and successfully complete) a variety of tasks. But studies show that our brains’ ability to truly multitask is limited. When we take on multiple tasks, we’re actually switching our attention from task to task. More related studies show that when we try to take on more than two tasks at once, our ability to complete any one task is compromised. Ultimately, we slow down and make mistakes.
How does this affect your job search? When you sit down to complete a task – say, tailoring a resume to a position you’ve found – is that all you’re doing? If you have your Internet browser open, it’s all too easy for one task to grow exponentially as you open e-mails, scan your Twitter feed, read Facebook status updates and click links that lead to more links. You might also be checking your phone or watching TV. You may have pets vying for your attention, or food in the oven. The more tasks you have breaking your attention, the more time your primary task – working on your resume – is going to consume. The quality of your work might also suffer from your lack of focus.
Time management can be one of the most challenging parts of job search for many job seekers. Try giving your full attention to your high priority job search activities to maximize your productivity. It will not only save you time, but will also bring you better results. Understanding how to efficiently complete tasks will open up more time for you to manage everything you need to do for your job search and for the other parts of your life.