Millennials are known for being able to juggle many tasks at once, switching their attention from one technology to another and hopping from job to job. In fact, multitasking has become a way of life for this generation.

But millennial employees have low productivity due to this constant multitasking, which costs the global economy $450 billion annually, according to research from Bryan College.

So how did it get this bad? The chart says that “digital distractions” are to blame. On average, millennials switch their attention between media platforms, including smartphones, iPads and computers, 27 times an hour.

While multitasking and being distracted at work may seem like not so large an issue, this impulsivity “manifests on bigger scales, involving jobs and careers,” according to the research.

The research found that regular multitasking is correlated with low emotional intelligence. In fact, multitasking while doing cognitive tasks at work can decrease the IQ by 10 to 15 points and have the equivalent effect of not sleeping the night before, thereby lowering productivity.

Though we live in a tech-centric world with a lot of impulsive and quick shifts in direction at work, there are many strategies to employ to stay on track.

Here’s how to address multitasking:

EMPLOYEES:

Create work schedules that establish periods of focused work with small breaks to bathe in the sea of digital temptation.

EMPLOYERS:

Offer yoga and meditation classes to help people develop their mindfulness muscle and focus better throughout the day.

Shorten the work week to something like 25 to 32 hours. Constraining time encourages quality time, especially when people need to get the same work done.

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