Too many times I hear from students, “I am really good at multitasking.” If you have ever said something like that, please read the following: 12 reasons to stop multitasking now.
It has become increasingly apparent that we do not “multitask” well. Now you may be able to talk on the phone and type an email at the same time – but take a look at your email, did you make any mistakes? Ask the person you were on the phone with how they felt during and after your conversation.
My favorite television commercial is from a couple of years ago where a couple is at dinner at a restaurant and he is unsuccessfully trying to talk to her and watch a football-game on a smartphone. Yes the smartphone can show a game; but …… (Note: I would really appreciate it if someone can help me find a copy of this commercial.)
Do you study and have a cell phone nearby where you can see who is calling or texting? Does your email program alert you when you get a new email? If so, I would turn these functions “off.”
Now wait a minute Mr. Seltzer, here is a job description that specifically is asking for applicants to be able to “multitask.” What employers want are people who can manage their priorities and finish things accurately and in a timely fashion.
Your supervisor wants to be able to give you one or more projects to complete, sometimes with clear directions and sometimes not – with the expectation you will be able to determine which project needs to be addressed with the highest priority AND if you have down time on that activity you will productively pursue your other projects.
First coined in the 1960’s in the computer industry, multitasking has become accepted shorthand for “the ability to manage multiple projects.”
Yes you can manage multiple projects but as this article and others have said you will be more productive and successful if you only work on one thing at one time.