Productivity Myth Buster: Multitasking
Updated: Nov 28, 2021
“Multitasking is the ability to screw everything up simultaneously.” - Jeremy Clarkson
When we were younger, we were on the receiving end of many myths. As we got older, we’ve accumulated information as well as tips and tricks to help make us more productive. Turns out, some of these are not as true as we may have thought they were.
The first myth we’ll bust is on multitasking.
Multitasking is a hot topic in the realm of productivity. Some people swear against it, reasoning that it splits our attention and, therefore, is not as beneficial as doing one thing at a time. Other people say it’s beneficial because it increases efficiency and allows us to have more time for other things.
Multitasking, for the most part, does not increase productivity. When we split our attention between different things, we spend less time in that “zen” state of pure attention and productivity. For example, if someone was trying to do homework and watch a movie at the same time, they’d be less likely to put the proper attention needed for either task. This leads to the person not being able to pay full attention to their homework nor enjoy the movie in its entirety.
However, multitasking isn’t inherently bad. The key is to make sure that the tasks with which we are multitasking are complimentary. This means that one task should be the main focus, the one that uses more brain power. The other(s) is ones that can be done with muscle memory or habit. For example, if someone is reciting a speech, it’d be pretty productive to do so while washing dishes or doing the laundry.
Bottom line, it’s important to be able to differentiate between when it’s good to multitask (combine high focus tasks with routine tasks) and when it’s not beneficial to multitask (when both tasks are high focus).
- Dhisha Kukalakuntla,
Founder & President