Lesson notes, exercises, downloads, and recommended reading are below the video. On mobile, the video will rescale when you play it.

Failure of Multitasking: The Multitasking Myth

Multitasking is doing more than one thing at a time. Multitasking is a poor choice at best, and a disastrous one at worst.

In this video, we look at three things:
1. What multitasking is
2. Why it doesn’t work well
3. If you must multi-task: how best to do it

Watching this Video is worth 3 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for more details)

This video is part of course module number 1.6.1
Program 1: Managing Yourself
Course 6: Personal Productivity
Section 1: Effective Working

Relevant videos in the same section as this video include:
– The Power of Habits: Productivity through Effective Working
– Planning, Preparation, and Follow-up: Effective Working for Better Productivity
– Milestones and Deadlines for Self-Motivation and Greater Productivity
– Overcome Overwhelm: Dealing with the Feeling of Being Overwhelmed
– The Flow State… and How Flow Can Help You Work Effectively
– Monkey Management: How to Deal with a Monkey on Your Back
– Email Wrangling: How to Manage Your Email Effectively

Is Multi-tasking possible?
Yes, you can walk and talk at the same time. But as soon as you try to do two mentally demanding tasks at once, your brain will overload.

Serial mono-tasking
What we think of as multitasking is really ‘serial mono-tasking’. That is, you do one thing for a short while, switch attention and do another, then switch back.

The Zeigarnik Effect
Retention of unfinished tasks.
Involves Brodman Area 10 in your brain.

Switching attention is inefficient.
Do it too often, and you waste a lot of time as the little cut-over times add up. And you can easily confuse yourself, letting information from one task contaminate your assessments in the other.

If you don’t switch often enough, your working memory will lose track of the detail of the task you’re switching to, and you’ll need to use time to recall where you got to.

Put simply, don’t. Instead, allocate chunks of time to work on one thing. Make substantial progress and stop at a natural breakpoint.

Eyal Ophir, Clifford Nass, Anthony Wagner
1. Stuck at on
Can’t ignore irrelevant stimuli
2. Disorganized filing
Poor retention of information
3. Contamination
Inaccurate and slower task performance

If you must multitask…
Don’t, but if you must:
1. Blocks of around 20 minutes.
2. Prioritise rest, and take good breaks.
3. Younger adults seem to cope best with multi-tasking.

There is experimental evidence that women are marginally less rubbish at multi-tasking on certain types of (low-demand) tasks. Keep your multi-tasking to simple things.

1. Notice when you fall into multitasking. (1 MC CPD Point)
2. Deliberately plan your days, so you can focus on one thing at a time (1 MC CPD Point)

Free Resources
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
Paid resources
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)

I’ll be as modest as I can. I’m something of an expert on effective working, personal productivity, & time management, with 4 best-selling books by 3 international publishers:
– The Time Management Pocketbook
– How to Manage Your Time
– Powerhouse: Turbo Boost Your Effectiveness and Start Making a Serious Impact
– The Yes/No Book: How to do less… and achieve more

And here are my picks from the thousands of other books on personal productivity, effective working, & time management:
– The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
– The Power of Habit: Why we Do what we Do, and How to Change
– Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
– Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating

Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
You can record your Management Courses CPD points on our free, downloadable CPD record log.
Download it here: https://gum.co/MC-CPD

Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 3 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 5 MC CPD points

Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon

#Productivity #EffectiveWorking #MultiTasking


What is Mentoring? Why get a Mentor and Why be a Mentor? + Top Tips
What is PESTLE Analysis?
The Miller Heiman Strategic Selling Methodology
What is NLP Modelling? And How do we to Do it?
NLP & Hypnosis: What is the Milton Model?
NLP Meta Model: Precision Questioning and Listening
What is NLP? Neuro Linguistic Programming
Howard Gardner: Emotional Intelligence in the Multiple Intelligences Model
What is Remarketing? (or Retargeting)
What is Marketing Automation? And How to set it up.
What is Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing? And How to Build Your Campaign
What is Public Relations (PR)?
Marketing Mix: Product – What is the Product Marketing?
What is the Marketing Mix – The 4Ps: Product, Price, Place, Promotion?
What is Market Segmentation?
What is a Marketing Strategy?
What is Market Research?
Edgar Schein’s 3 Levels of Organizational Culture
French and Raven: Social Power Bases in Organizations
Organizational Power: What is Power?
Strategic Time Management: What and How
How to Use the Kanban Method for Time Management
How Does the Chain Method of Time Management Work?
How Does the Autofocus Time Management Method Work?
MOSCOW Analysis – Negotiation Tools
How Does the Getting Things Done Time Management Method Work?
What is the Pomodoro Technique? Working in Sprints
Eating Frogs: A Solution to Procrastination
How to Handle Interruptions and Distractions
How to Say NO: Noble Objection – the Ultimate in Time Management
How to Handle Overload: When Time Management is Not Enough
How to Clear a Backlog – The 4 Rs Method
Prioritization with the Pareto Principle – the 80-20 Rule
Prioritization: Understand Urgent and Important
To Do List and 7 Other Time Management Lists You Should Use Instead
Time Management with The OATS Principle
Goal Setting: The Start of Your Time Management
Activity Log: Logging Your Time and Activities
Email Wrangling: How to Manage Your Email for Greater Productivity
Monkey Management: How to Deal with a Monkey on Your Back
The Flow State… and How Flow Can Help You Work Effectively
Special Time: and How to Use it to Work Effectively
Overcome Overwhelm: Dealing with the Feeling of Being Overwhelmed
Conquer Procrastination: How to Avoid Putting Things Off
Three Types of Procrastination… and Why 2 are Good

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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