Multitasking is a myth! Human brains simply cannot pay attention to two things at once. Instead, our focus operates like a flashlight, which can illuminate a thing over here or a thing over there, but not both at the same time. When we ask someone to multitask, they are just switching their focus back and forth between the two (or more) tasks. And the act of constantly switching focus makes a person worse at all of the tasks they are attempting to tackle. Task-switching can double the amount of time a task takes and usually more than double the number of mistakes that will be made. And over time, this constant task-switching hinders our ability to focus on a single task even when the other stimuli are removed.
Our tip? Whenever possible, structure your workday—and the workdays of your employees—so you can focus on one task at a time. For instance, only having your email program open for 10 minutes every hour, or 30 minutes in the morning and 30 in the afternoon, will eliminate the constant distraction (and refocusing of your flashlight) caused by desktop notifications and the temptation of replying instantly. Limiting access to social media, turning off notifications on your smartphone or desktop, and closing unnecessary windows are other simple ways to help you keep your focus where it belongs and maximize your productivity.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has 53 field offices nationwide and often works in tandem with state civil rights departments to investigate claims. In 2016, the EEOC accepted more than 91,000 claims. Nearly half of those were related to sexual or other unlawful harassment. Discipline, termination, terms, and conditions of employment and reasonable accommodations were the other most commonly cited issues.
The EEOC was created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and was given the ability to sue on behalf of employees by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972. The Commission enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act (EPA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the portions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that apply to employment.