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.
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
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)
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