Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Multi-tasking reduces productivity!

Recently, there has been a lot of talk of people multi-tasking at work. However, they should do some research on how multi-tasking affects productivity before commenting further. On the contrary, multi-tasking has been proven in research that it reduces productivity.

The reason is quite simple. Will you be able to finish a task faster if you concentrate on it solely or if you're happening to do 2-3 tasks at the same time? Will you be able to do a task more efficiently and with greater accuracy if you're concentrating on it solely, or if you're sharing your brain power with 2-3 other tasks at the same time?

I think the answer is pretty obvious. If you concentrate on resolving a single task at a time, you'll end up saving more time because you'll be able to get your results more quickly. The scary part is that some people can actually be hooked on to multi-tasking, end up unable to finish any task on time, and yet think that they are great multi-taskers.

Note that there's a difference between people multi-tasking and people who are good multi-taskers. Multi-taskers are usually masters in time allocation, while multi-tasking people are not. Having said that, that doesn't mean that there is no one who is good in multi-tasking. It's just that in general, our human brains are not suited to it.

There are several articles that comment on this topic. If you're interested, you can take a look at the post here and here. (not related to any of these 2 sites/authors)


MM SZ said...

Good one! Linked. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree.

Personally, I hate multitasking. It gives the illusion of productivity, but you're just doing lots of things. And activity does NOT equal to productivity. I always remember the faces during a staff meeting, when I said, "In Singapore, we are also busy, but [insert phrase above]."

It makes sense: after all, God gives us one brain each.

Rhinestic said...

yesh, totally agreed =\

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