Tips and strategies to getting more (or less) done by multitasking. Efficient strategies for increased productivity and smarter working
Multitasking is defined as the performance by an individual of appearing to handle more than one task at the same time.
I like to think I’m very good at it, jumping from program to program, and seemingly getting a lot of work done in any given day. I honestly believe that in order to be a success in today’s business world, multitasking, and the ability to juggle tasks and handle multiple activities is vital.
And yet, these’s a school of thought that says that multitasking works against us and can result in time wasted due to human context swtiching and apparently causing more errors due to insufficient attention. Also, there’s a theory that says the youngest generations of humans– commonly referred to as Generation Y and Generation Z- are the most effective at multitasking. And yet no research has proven them to be any better at multitasking than members of older generations.
Multitasking has been criticized as a hindrance to completing tasks or feeling happiness. Barry Schwartz has noted that, given the media-rich landscape of the Internet era, it is tempting to get into a habit of dwelling in a constant sea of information with too many choices, which has been noted to have a negative effect on human happiness.
I think we can all agree, that when we’re on-task, engaged, focused, that time flies by and there’s a feeling of satisfaction, accomplishment and inner happiness. For myself, writing this portion about multitasking was a good learning lesson and experiment for me. Even though I sing the praises about multitasking and my ability to jump from one task to another, I was able to get the most work done at night, when I was fully focused, without interruption or distraction. Shutting off my instant messenger. Forgetting about Facebook. Me, and my seminar…at one. The next big project you have, I encourage you to forget multitasking and take a good-old-fashioned focused approach.
Regardless of whether or not multitasking is brilliance or bogus, the bottom line is that Power Users shift gears and priorities with ease and flexibility. In today’s world of immediate gratification, instant results and the need for now, it is essential that we are flexible and efficient…and not just with computers, but with life in general. There is a time for Multitasking. Power Users know when to work…and when not to.