The Myth of Multitasking

Most of us multitask, i.e. have several things going on at once.  Sometimes it is necessary, such as when preparing a meal or preparing a business conference.  Some managers believe that multitasking is a required skill for a supervisor or manager.   I recall one time when a leader of an organization  told me that a certain employee would not be a good successor  “… because he doesn’t know how to multitask.”  The employee not only received the promotion, but became one of the best managers ever for the organization.  He later told me that his secret was to focus on one thing at a time.  So what’s the real story on this thing known as multitasking that we all seem to be caught up in?

As it turns out, quite a few studies have shown that multitasking is not as efficient as some might think.   Christine Rosen’s, “The Myth of Multitasking,” in the Spring 2008 issue of The New Atlantis, is an excellent summation of the subject.  In it she provides an overview of several studies on the subject.  I consider the article recommended reading.

So below is my thought for the day, courtesy of Soko Morinaga.

When you go to the kitchen to prepare dinner, be born in the kitchen. When you finish there, die. Then be born at the dining table as you eat your dinner and, when you finish eating, die there. Be born in the garden, and sweep with your broom. When you get into bed at night, die there. And when daylight comes, and you awaken in your bed, be born anew.

One response to “The Myth of Multitasking

  1. Nice piece Phil. We’re on a similar wavelength. Stop over to Simplify and let us know what you think–http://simplifime.wordpress.com/ .

    Best regards, Rob

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s