Imagine it’s Sunday night and you’re on your laptop with few browser windows open. Now, your email inbox gets flooded with the tasks unfinished and now you’re going to rush things to get it done. These multiple tabs, you keep them switching; so, in other words, you’re multitasking.
Talking practically, there’s no such thing as Multitasking.
As multiple studies have confirmed, true multitasking—doing more than one task at the same time—is a myth. People who think they can split their attention between multiple tasks at once aren’t actually getting more done. In fact, they’re doing less, getting more stressed out, and performing worse than those who single-task.
What is Multitasking?
Multitasking is the act of working on different tasks at the same time or switching from one distinct task to another with almost no interval. Multitasking can be a boon or a bane depending on various factors.
Thinking of multitasking as simply “doing two difficult things at once” doesn’t tell the full story. Instead, there are three forms of multitasking you need to be aware of:
- Multitasking (attempting to do two or more tasks simultaneously)
- Context switching (switching back and forth between tasks)
- Attention residue (performing a number of tasks in rapid succession)
Here are the pros and cons of multitasking.
|Increased Efficiency||Declining Quality|
|Increased Productivity||Chronic Distraction|
|Increased Resilience||Procrastination and Misplaced Priorities|
|Flexibility & Adaptability||Eliminates Personal Skills|
PROS Of Multitasking
- Multitasking helps you achieve your goals in a shorter period of time. A professional can finish multiple tasks at the same time another gets one task done. There are like many tasks that each of us has to do on a regular basis and taking out a separate hour for daily works be like fool’s business. So, these sorts of tasks need multitasking.
- Not every task a successful person does generates values or money. Many tasks are facilitative or just things one has to do. These simple and mundane tasks, often an excess and needless, don’t have any impact on the bottom line of the company or that of the professional. In a good way, multitasking increases productivity when the same time can be spent on work that will bring in more revenue or have a tangible impact on the company’s or individual’s fortunes.
- Since multitasking is on high demand, so a person has to be clearly focussed on each and every task at hand to get them done and not just done but done right. This creates your mental focus on your tasks and so it helps in mental strengthening. One gets trained to switch from one task to another, thus enabling flexibility in focus. Such a level of focus and ability to switch also increase resilience. Given the world we live in and work in, there is constant chatter everywhere. With distractions galore, one can do with a bit more focus and resilience.
- Slow and steady progress is what typically wins the race. That’s what multitasking can help someone do for multiple tasks simultaneously. So, when there is a specific deadline that must be met for multiple projects, multitasking can help to make it possible for everything to be turned in on time. Despite what our needs might be at times, there are still only 24 hours to any given day.
- There are numerous sources of information that come at people every day in a wide variety of ways. No longer is the daily morning meeting the one place to get tasks that need to be completed. Instant messages, emails, text messages, and other forms of communication make it possible for anyone to get in touch with someone virtually anywhere in the world. Instead of being bothered by a boss that’s 3 cubicles down and distracted by their demands, anyone with an internet connection can create a distraction. By multitasking these events, it becomes possible to create a structure of sanity in a world of information that is truly chaotic.
CONS Of Multitasking
- Multitasking is working hastily, so it is quite obvious that the efficiency of the work gets decreased normally. Increased production in timeless than it normally takes can lead to a serious compromise in quality.
- Multitasking is quite distracting. Because, when a person tries to focus on a single task; they get distracted. This sort of distraction can become chronic and can affect your mental health too. Simple or singular tasks may not draw enough focus and one may be drawn to minor tasks that are repetitive and what can be automated or done swiftly without much brainwork.
- Multitasking does not segregate tasks normally and so the priority or significant work gets on the side lane. It enables a misconception that a person can get a task done anytime and anyway. This sows procrastination.
- The act of switching between one task to another creates a time gap, even in those that are well versed in the skill of multitasking. The average amount of time it takes someone to switch tasks is 15 minutes. Our brains work a lot like computers. You’ve got to shut down one app to open up another app or switch between them if they both can be open and there’s no getting around this fact.
- Multitasking through modern technology has become so prevalent for some that they’ve lost their inter-personal skills. People have social needs that technology just can’t replace. Sometimes you’ve got to speak with someone in order to get something accomplished in the correct way and emails are not a substitute for an actual phone call. Too much multitasking makes someone an island, even if they are surrounded by others.
From this, one could say that when multitasking can help you get your work done then at the same time it can debase your inter-personal skills and your efficiency. You just have to know that modern era not only demands the work to get it done but what it checks is how efficiently you do it. Multitasking rule doesn't rely everywhere and doing it not make syou the GURU. Learn doing things efficiently and never compromise on the quality of your work.