Productivity App Overwhelm And The Myth of Multitasking


As a matter of fact, according to Statista, in 2017, there were 2.8 million apps for download on Google Play, and 2.2 million to choose from in the Apple Store!

There are literally millions of apps available that claim to organize your life and boost your productivity. Trying to analyze your tasks and responsibilities, and choosing apps to create a smooth system that will effectively manage those chores can leave your head spinning.

Our tendency is to give in to shiny object syndrome every time we see a new app with a must-have feature. Each app is set up to solve one problem, which leaves us trying to solve 23 problems with 23 apps, leading to app overload.

When we’re overloaded with apps in our workflow system, we have to switch back-and-forth between them in order to complete the tasks that the apps are there to simplify.

Another word for switching back-and-forth is multitasking, and as a rule, human brains are notoriously bad at it.

In the world of productivity first, multitasking is an industry darling

Go listen to the talk around the water cooler, or join in on an internet forum where people are discussing productivity, and it won’t be long before you hear heroic tales of high-achieving professionals who claim that multitasking is their secret weapon.

They have 20 tabs open on their computer, they talk on the phone and process email simultaneously, and they have a huge collection of the latest and greatest apps to help them get to the finish line.

But as alluring as these tales are, science tells a different story

A study conducted by Eyal Ophir, Clifford Nass, and Anthony D. Wagner set out to evaluate the cognitive control in media multitaskers.

The scientists separated media multitaskers into two groups: heavy media multitaskers and light media multitaskers. The two groups were then compared to each other in well-established cognitive control dimensions.

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