Multi-tasking is not worth the trouble

Time management is one of those skills no one teaches you in school but you have to learn.It doesn’t matter how smart you are if you can’t organize information well enough to take it in. And it doesn’t matter how skilled you are if procrastination keeps you from getting your work done.

Time management is one of those skills no one teaches you in school but you have to learn.

It doesn’t matter how smart you are if you can’t organize information well enough to take it in. And it doesn’t matter how skilled you are if procrastination keeps you from getting your work done.

In today’s workplace, you can differentiate yourself by your ability to handle information and manage your time. Careers are made or broken by the soft skills that make you able to handle a very large workload.

Of course you have multiple things to do. That’s a good thing. Even if you’ve lost your job, you still have multiple things to do.More accurately stated; you have multiple goals you are seeking to accomplish, each of which requires multiple tasks in order to complete.

Can you hold multiple goals at the same time? Of course you can.Can you work on multiple goals at the same time? Of course you can.Can you work on multiple tasks at the same time? Well, that’s another story.

We feel that the more we ‘multitask’ the more we are able to achieve and this makes us a better person. It’s almost like we have to defend our right to exist by how much we accomplish!

Clearly, there is a sense of urgency these days, and on a number of fronts at that.As technology allows people to do more tasks at the same time, the myth that we can multitask has never been stronger.

“People can’t multitask very well, and when people say they can, they’re deluding themselves,” said neuroscientist Earl Miller. And, he writes, “The brain is very good at deluding itself.Humans don’t do lots of things simultaneously. Instead, we switch our attention from task to task extremely quickly.

Mark the difference here, you’re not paying attention to two or three things simultaneously, but switching between them very rapidly.”

The other day I saw two cars at Gishushu ram into each other just because the sharply dressed fellow was ‘Blackberry-ing’ away while the young mother in the Golf was on phone at the same time trying to control the un-strapped baby from jumping out of the window.

Multi-tasking has become an excuse for not focusing on important projects, incomplete work, and failing to listen to one another.

Communication,the basic business tool has been undermined here.And with severe consequences.

Researchers at the University of Michigan have concluded that individuals that multi-task between 3 or more tasks, which most embrace as the key to success, is instead a formula for shoddy work, mismanaged time, rote solutions, stress, loss of social graces and forgetfulness. Also that prolonged periods of extreme multi-tasking can lead to shorter attention spans, poorer judgment and impaired memory.

Multi-tasking is not all wrong but there’s a need to examine what is truly achievable. Many of these multitaskers often wind up at the end of the day with an interesting conflict: whereas a number of tasks have been completed, the handful that were started in the morning end up still incomplete at 5:00.

The person who “worked” all day long is often tired and feels a bit frustrated. So, who gains from all this?

douglasfirst@gmail.com

 

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