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September 27, 2009

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Workplace Illusions

When you multitask you get more done.  Illusion or fact?

Multitasking is a solution to an overloaded workday.  Illusion or fact?

Multitasking doesn’t really involve doing several things at once.  That’s an illusion.  It actually requires you to switch back-and-forth between things and multitasking significantly reduces productivity.  Have you ever been talking on the phone and typing an email at the same time?  Is that multitasking or are you just  rapidly switching your focus between both tasks?  Have you ever stopped and said to the person you’re talking to “Excuse me, what was that you said?” because you were typing an email at the same time they were talking?

If you properly define multitasking as switching back-and-forth, and consider the cost in terms of lost productivity, you can  make slight adjustments to your behavior, like shooting for a 20 percent reduction in multitasking, and still enjoy significant gains and multitask when it’s appropriate.  And contrary to what some books and articles say, multitasking is very appropriate at times.

The point is, there are many productivity-killing workplace illusions, and multitasking is one of them.  Look at the task at hand, and before you start, ask yourself, does this task require my full attention in order to complete it correctly and more efficiently?  and if it does, than focus just on that task, complete it, and move on to the next one.  Don’t let those email alerts, phone calls, and other “shiny objects” distract you.

Pick a task you perform regularly, try staying focused just on that task, and see how great you feel when you finish that task more efficiently than ever before.

Taken from the GO System training course written by Chris Crouch.

Have a productive week!

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1 Comment
  1. DAD
    Dec 3 2009

    Karen this is a great idea best I have seen!!!

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