Is Multi-tasking a Myth?


While you attend interview, a default factor is considered that you need to be good at multitasking. What does the hiring manager or employers’ means by this? Does it mean that, one is expected to do more things at the same time? I see that this assumption will bring the productivity lower and make people less efficient. The reason being is every task or project takes a certain amount of attention, focus and energy to do it or get it done.

Many neurologists believe that, it is impossible for brain to multitask. I experimented this on self and in some sessions with students by giving them multiple tasks to complete in a given period of time. These were the following observations and outcome-
1. Students found it difficult to do parallel processing – they found it extremely difficult to switch attention from one thing to another.
2. One of the tasks were hardly initiated or remained incomplete. Many found it is impossible to switch back to the previous task.
3. More than 50 percent of students gave up after the first task and 10 percent of students group could just complete less than 10 percent of task among the tasks.

These are strong indicators that productive multitasking is a myth. It was clearly visible that the more things (tasks) were asked to pay attention, the performance, motivation and productivity suffers. This I have seen in one of previous organization, it didn’t perform as expected because the synergy from the management was low, because of personal and professional multitasking at the same time.
This hypothesis can be correlated to talking over phone while driving or crossing the road – by trying to focus on two things at once, can cause fatal loss.

What actually happens during switch of the focus on your attention? In order to switch your attention, your brain is forced to spend time and effort thrashing, loading and re-loading contexts over and over again. It is commonly seen at times you spend entire day multitasking, get nothing done, and feel tired and exhausted at the end. Similar observations were seen among group of students, as they burnt most of energy in switching tasks instead of making progress.

What does one do to avoid unproductive context switching? Stay tuned to more about this research. We hope you enjoyed reading this article; we welcome your views and suggestions. God Bless You and Good day!

(Images taken from bing.com)

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2 thoughts on “Is Multi-tasking a Myth?

  1. sir it is a great article … and i do agree with your statement.. I feel companies can look for multi-abilities rather than multi-tasking because they can find the quality of work than the quantity of work an individual perform.

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