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  • Writer's pictureMaria Stefanidi

Multitasking... Switch-tasking... call it whatever you want...just don't do it!

Are you one of those students who has their dissertation word file open, switches to social media, types an email, and starts doing X, Y, and Z?

Well, I have to be honest with you and tell you that getting involved with too many activities during your dissertation process is just another procrastination-inducing behavior. If you become too busy, you have reasonable excuses to be away from your dissertation, doing no work at all... Overall, it is critical to remain focused, committed, and determined throughout your dissertation journey in order to complete it! So, multitasking or switching between tasks is NOT an option!

Multitasking: a myth to be busted

A multitasking mind is a distracted mind; let's start there!

Let me explain a little further...

If you're juggling multiple projects at once, it's possible that multitasking isn't assisting you in getting ANYTHING done.

Contrary to popular belief, multitasking does not increase productivity.

In fact, it will slow you down...

I frequently see students mistakenly believe they are multitasking when they are simply switching between tasks. When you try to multitask, you try to pay attention to several things at the same time. But no one can do multiple things at once because our brains are not designed to do so. So, when students tell me they are good multitaskers, it means they try to juggle multiple tasks at the same time without being productive. Multitasking, in fact, hinders your productivity, performance, and peace of mind.

So, as a student, your superpower is single-tasking, not multitasking.

What does multitasking costing you?

In this section, I'll go over the three most common consequences of multitasking and why it should be avoided at all costs!

1. It costs you time!

It's actually the thing you think you're gaining by doing many things at once, but the opposite is true! Switch-tasking is a time thief. Instead of accomplishing more in less time, you get worse results in a longer period of time. Switching back and forth between tasks at a rapid pace lengthens the time it takes to complete them. Switching from task to task, as Jim Kwik mentions in one of his YouTube videos on multitasking, can take anywhere from one to five minutes to regain focus because you're using a specific pattern of your neuro net that's activated to do a task, and when you switch over to something else, it takes time to reactivate something and deactivate something else.

Bottom line, please stop multitasking because it costs you valuable time that you can't get back!

2. You make more mistakes!

It's true that switching your focus reduces the quality of your work and increases your chances of making a mistake.

3. It costs you energy!

Do you ever feel mentally exhausted? Are you experiencing mental fatigue or brain fog?

When you activate different parts of your brain to perform specific tasks, your brain expends more energy to process all of this information in such a short time.

Maybe you're trying to do too much at once, so your brain consumes more energy, and this results in you feeling exhausted.

How can you reduce multitasking while working on your dissertation?

Remove all digital distractions

Distractions that sabotage your progress and concentration should be avoided at all costs.

To begin, you must develop a strategy for avoiding digital distractions.

It's the same as switching to airplane mode on your phone!

One way to do that is to use digital tools like rescuetime, stayfocused, or freedom in order to limit your exposure to digital distractions.

Your goal is to avoid constant distractions, focus on your dissertation, and avoid procrastination. Do you believe you'll be able to pull it off?

Get rid of your mental distractions

Are you currently multitasking? Are you reading this blog post while also attempting to do one or two other things? If so, do you know deep down that you won't be able to do everything perfectly?

So, why are you dispersing your attention?

Your brain cannot perform two cognitive tasks at the same time.

Where is your mind going?

Are you thinking about something that's not in the present?

Are you thinking about what's coming up?

Do you have a lot on your mind at the moment?

Are you thinking about what happened in the past?

Take out a piece of paper, write down whatever is on your mind, and set it aside. All of those thoughts will be dealt with later. You must concentrate on your dissertation right now!

Set a timer for 30-40 minutes of intense work.

What will be your next task to focus on?


You are almost there...

Multitasking does NOT work. Period.

Monotasking will get you to the end of your dissertation journey faster, easier, with more certainty, and with more flow.

For projects that require your undivided attention, such as your dissertation, focus on one task at a time and then move on to the next one until you've completed the one you're currently working on.

Be conscious when you're multitasking. Remind yourself why it isn't the most efficient use of your performance, energy, and time.

Go ahead, focus your attention on your dissertation, and help your brain stay focused on it!

It's time to make your dissertation an absolute priority! (And if you want to read more about the value of prioritizing, click here!)


If you liked what you just read, please share it with other students who might benefit from it!

And please remember to follow me on Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips and tools to help you hand in your dissertation and actually enjoy the process!

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