Most of the time multitasking is an illusion.
You think you are multitasking,
but in reality you’re actually wasting time
switching from one task to another.
– Bosco Tjan
Are you a multitasking genius?
Congratulations. Clearly, there is a place for juggling in today’s business environment where you’re holding on a phone call and reading an email simultaneously. However, don’t deceive yourself that this is the winning formula for success. It isn’t and you would be harming your career if you thought so.
Research shows multitasking is a myth and in reality, it actually increases the amount of time you employ finishing your original task by an average of 25%.
You see as you switch attention from one task to another, it takes time to mentally return to the project at hand. You, also, lose the possible breadth of a project which is where you’re solving problems, seeing issues from a different angle, innovating new processes, etc. Anyone can do shallow—it requires focused time and effort to see depth and connectivity where others don’t; and that heightened discernment involves uninterrupted concentration.
I am not suggesting that you should doggedly work through every enterprise on your plate until completion. I am saying that there are assignments—and probably many more than you realize—that would benefit from consistent, uninterrupted concentration; and that, when you pay attention, you’ll be producing better outcomes with less time and effort. Try it and see how much more productive you are with the time you have available.
By the way, this deeper level of thinking and producing will lead to being noticed by your company as a high potential employee. How is that for a gift from time—all originating from your choice to be exceptional and selectively work on one key task at a time?