The Myth of Multitasking

The Myth of Multitasking

How many of us have done the following?

Ø Review emails and conduct a teleconference.
Ø Write a report while checking out Facebook.
Ø Attend to our Twitter feed while writing an employee appraisal.
Ø Chatting with our family (employees or friends too) and regularly checking our phones.
Ø Texting and driving (Noooo!)
Ø Watching TV while doing pretty much anything and everything.

Don’t we wish that we could do it all AND do it all at the very same time?

Yes, we all believe that we can successfully multitask and then make all sorts of excuses just why this multitasking needs to be done:

Ø There’s just too much to do.
Ø The report doesn’t require that much concentration.
Ø I can listen while also checking my email.
Ø Facebook doesn’t really require my full attention.
Ø The TV is on “just for background noise.”

It’s sad really.

Current research has shown that we don’t really get more done by multitasking; in fact, multitasking is undermining our creativity, ability to focus and successfully accomplish the main tasks that we are attempting to do.

As John Medina, author of “Brain Rules” says: “To put it bluntly, research shows that we can’t multitask. We are biologically incapable of processing attention-rich inputs simultaneously.” (

And yet we can’t seem to stop ourselves. We sit in meetings in which people continually check their phones. We converse with colleagues but sneak peeks at our laptops and tablets. At home, the TV is on constantly, our phones are by our side and checked throughout the day and night.

It seems time for all of us to get a grip, recognize that we are negatively impacting our effectiveness as well as our personal relationships by attempting to do too many things at the same time.

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