The Myth Of Multi-tasking

I’ve looked at a lot of job postings lately. One very common need is the requirement to be a good at multitasking.  “Strong multitasking skills required” they say. I have always thought of myself as a strong multi-tasker. Talking on the phone and working on a Powerpoint. Working on a report during a webinar. Walking and chewing gum. I’ve always thought I was good at it and maybe I was. I started to question that concept recently.

I started changing the conditions in which I worked. I saved tasks like writing and other types of content creation for earlier in the morning when I was one of the few people in the office. I started scheduling my calls during the busy times of the morning and afternoon when the others around me are usually on the phone. I started taking my meetings late in the mornings and afternoons. This shift in my schedule let me do something I noticed right away. One thing at a time!

Pretty quickly I realized I do better, more productive work when I’m focusing on one thing at a time! Go figure.

Coincidentally I heard this report on NPR pretty soon after. Thought I’d share.


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