And it causes you to take longer to finish – and your work quality is lower.
This excellent article from Annie Murphy Paul explains it: Why learning and multitasking don’t mix
Here’s an excerpt that specifically caught our attention:
“[T]he mental fatigue caused by repeatedly dropping and picking up a mental thread leads to more mistakes. The cognitive cost of such task-switching is especially high when students alternate between tasks that call for different sets of expressive “rules”—the formal, precise language required for an English essay, for example, and the casual, friendly tone of an email to a friend.”
Sometimes we get drafts of MBA admissions essays for review that are totally disjointed – where the paragraphs just don’t fit together. Now we’re wondering if essays like that were drafted concurrent with texting with friends about some important new social development happening at the same time. That would certainly explain it.
As Round 2 starts to peek over the horizon and you gear up for another season of writing essays, you can start to train yourself for the extended concentration sessions needed to produce quality work on the page. Writing is a brain-intensive task. Take some time to set up your environment – clear the clutter from your desk, throw away the empty boxes of cookies that have collected in the corner, make it a place that is inviting and easy to be in. Get rid of the distractions. A TV does not belong in the same room as a person studying. Or writing bschool essays.
We have a bunch of posts here on the blahg to help you with time and task management. Here are a few from the Sn*archives that may be useful:
- How to stop avoiding the difficult jobs (August 2013)
- And maybe this most (un)helpful of all: How to write an MBA essay (June 2013)
OK, we just gave you three posts to read, which is enough of a procrastination indulgence. Now use some of those techniques and suggestions and get to work!