Posts Tagged ‘multitasking’

A No Go For Me

June 13, 2015 2 comments

Resume Req

Of course, if I was unemployed, or actively looking for a new job, I would have replied differently to the solicitation. Wouldn’t you have?


February 4, 2013 Leave a comment

The best graphic I’ve ever seen on the inefficiency of multitasking comes via one of my long-time mentors from afar, Mr. Gerry Weinberg.

Weinberg MT

Even though some level of multitasking is pragmatically required once in awhile for getting things done, some orgs explicitly put multiturding up on a pedestal as a desired skill to be developed and honed. In these types of orgs, if you have multiple titles, roles, projects, etc, going on at the same time, you’re probably in the good graces of your bosses and a prime candidate for promotion. Plus, you get to pump up your annual appraisal form with a boatload of (half-assed) “accomplishments“.

Nine vs 6

As a test to see if you’re a member of an org that’s hooked on multiturding, try telling your boss that you’d like to work on one project at a time – and then observe the response. Also, observe the feelings that arise within you before you make the request – if you do indeed make the request.



Insane and Inefficient

December 17, 2012 5 comments

I can remember the “good ole days” when I purchased and read one book at a time. I would immerse myself whole-heartedly into the book’s subject matter until I finished it in a matter of days. But ever since I bought my first e-reader (Sony PRS-500) several years ago, I’ve become addicted to buying and reading several books simultaneously. For example, here is the current set of books that I’m currently reading on my Kindle Fire HD:


Like multi-tasking, this multi-reading process is insane and inefficient. I don’t absorb the material as deeply, reading is not as fun as it used to be, and I can’t seem to kick the freakin’ habit. Does anyone know of a 12 step program out there that cures this scourge?

I and I

Categories: miscellaneous Tags: , ,

Context Switching

January 12, 2010 1 comment

“There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.” – Lord Chesterfield (1740)

Study after study after study have shown that, due to the natural imperfections built into human memory, multitasking is inefficient and unproductive compared to single-tasking. The bottom line is that humans suck at multitasking. Unlike computers, when humans switch from doing one thought-intensive task to another, the clearing out of memory content from the current task and the restoration of memory content from the previous task greatly increases the chances of errors and mistakes being made.

So why do managers multitask all the time, and why do unenlightened companies put “multitasking prowess” on their performance review forms? Ironically, they do it to reinforce an illusion that multitasking is a key contributor of great productivity and accomplishment. When a “performance reviewer” sees the impressive list of superficial accomplishments that a multitasker has achieved and compares it to a measly list of one or two deep accomplishments from a single-tasker, an illusion of great productivity is cemented in the mind of the ignorant reviewer. Most managers, huge multitaskers themselves, and clueless to the detrimental effects of the malady on performance, tend to reward fellow multitaskers more than non-multitasking “slackers“. Bummer for all involved; especially the org as a whole.

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