Home » Lifestyle » Increased stress and unrewarded effort: why being multitasking and versatile at work is not such a good idea | Worked

Increased stress and unrewarded effort: why being multitasking and versatile at work is not such a good idea | Worked

Increased stress and unrewarded effort: why being multitasking and versatile at work is not such a good idea |  Worked

Anyone who has had to face a job search will have found concepts such as «knowing how to work under pressure» or «capacity multitasking”. Terms to which the candidates tried to adapt in order to be elected and demonstrate their extensive skills, but over time it has been seen that they hide a great cost for the mental health of the workers and for their professional performance.

The first —and what they have pointed out several researchers— is that sustained multitasking leads to memory loss and a reduced ability to pay attention. As explained to S Fashion the psychologist specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Psychology Thomas Saint Cecilia, wanting to cover many tasks at the same time ends up being counterproductive: “The studies that have been carried out in this regard come to show that in multitasking what you do is stress our central nervous system, specifically, the brain. Throughout history, societies have been guided by false beliefs or myths and, precisely, there is a false belief in our culture that multitasking is effective. What we’re seeing is that people who multitask for a sustained period of time end up totally exhausted and stressed.”

According to Santa Cecilia, work stress is, today, one of the main causes of psychological consultation among people of working age. Therefore, this professional sees it necessary to take measures to achieve a more reasonable organization of tasks and prevent our attention from constantly jumping from one place to another. “The first thing is to recognize that multitasking is not efficient. It’s effective (because you assume you’re doing a lot of things), but it’s not efficient. Really, what it achieves is to reduce our energy and create exhaustion and a constant feeling of frustration, ”she indicates. “We also have to be aware that we lead a rhythm of life that is what marks technology and machines. But we are not computers, human beings cannot be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So it is essential to set aside a few hours a day to rest.

Good for the company, but not for the worker

Another disadvantage for profiles that are forced to undertake many and very diverse tasks is that they assume a volume of work and responsibilities that are rarely recognized by the company. Being versatile can be very positive for the company, but is it really for the employee? Are they offered a position and a specific remuneration for this reason?

Marc Tierz, Director of Marketing and Communication at etalentuma consultancy head hunting and selection of personnel, indicates that this quality can become a double-edged sword, so that highly versatile employees do not manage to grow professionally, focus their careers or become specialized as they should. For this reason, some companies are beginning to question these dynamics: “The multitasking still there. He continues to demand the ability to multitask and be autonomous, but it is true that he has entered a recession ”he recalls. “Personally, I question the efficiency of dedicating, for example, the time of a professional trained in a specific discipline, to another task of lower value for which he has not received the same training and in which he will spend more time or will do worse, failing to dedicate that time to what really stands out”.

Despite being a downward trend, multitasking, according to Tierz, is still very present in certain areas such as marketing or sales positions, where they are required to know a little about everything in order to cover as many aspects of the business as possible . But in other sectors it would not be so justified. “There is authors such as Nicholas Carr who affirm that the fact of dedicating ourselves to multiple tasks makes our brain adapt to that task management (something very operational), losing the ability to think deeply and creatively. This, if true, is disastrous for managers, designers, advertisers or product developers”, they explain from etalentum.

Monica Sure, Associate director from Robert Waltersa multinational specializing in the search and selection of middle management and executives, also points out that companies no longer use the term multitasking in the majority and that it is a skill that has undergone a change in perception over the years: “What was previously seen as a quality that could help professionals to be faster in completing their tasks, with greater productivity and ability to take on more responsibility, over time it has been shown that it is associated with a higher level of stress and that it is impossible, even at the brain level, to attend to two tasks at the same time”.

Now that the multitasking it can cause suspicion by future employees and be perceived as a requirement with negative connotations, companies focus on other types of concepts. “Currently,” explains Segura, “there is a greater search for professional skills related to VUCA environment, such as creativity, teamwork, resilience, a positive attitude in the face of adversity and uncertainty. Also the capacity for constant learning, self-knowledge and effective decision-making. The most similar concept to multitasking It would be related to versatility, flexibility, ability to work under pressure and stress, but performing the task with quality and quickly and efficiently”.

A fundamental question for someone who has been assigned multiple tasks is how to correctly convey to superiors that this dynamic is being detrimental to their health without appearing to want to shirk their obligations. In this sense, the psychologist Tomás Santa Cecilia indicates that, on the one hand, “it is important to learn the rules of assertiveness — knowing how to say things without hurting others — and, on the other, learning to set limits and say no: ” It is one of the great difficulties that we human beings have, saying no. We must recognize that our person, our capacity and energy, it has limits. So, at a given moment, it’s okay to say at work that I can’t do something and put it in these terms: Tell me, please, what is in a hurry, because I don’t get to all these tasks today”.

A need that is also pointed out by the expert in personnel selection, Mónica Segura: “In the event that this happens, the professional must develop more skills related to resilience and the ability to set limits or raise their hands when dealing with all the work. make it really impossible.”

To reduce that feeling of stress generated by multitaskingIn addition to making lists of pending tasks, internalizing rest as something that cannot be renounced and prioritizing activities, the psychologist also advises scheduling the time that we are going to dedicate to each activity and, later, enjoying the finished task. “Tell us: ‘Well, I’ve done this. Fantastic. How well it has turned out for me. And dedicate two minutes to breathe, rest, and become aware that we have finished something before immediately facing something else”.

Santa Cecilia recalls that it is essential to start putting these prevention rules into practice in order to improve our well-being and avoid reaching an unfeasible situation for mental health: “In the end, we end up in the emergency room and it is a professional who has to tell us that we should take a casualty because we are exhausted”.

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– Article Written By @María Sánchez Sánchez from https://smoda.elpais.com/trabajo/mayor-estres-y-esfuerzo-no-recompensado-por-que-ser-multitasking-y-versatil-en-el-trabajo-no-es-tan-buena-idea/

Nicole Aniston