Can you do multiple things at the same time? Do you feel better about it? How’s the result of doing simultaneous tasks? As an owner of more than 12 blogs and a full-time Technical Support Engineer I am guilty of it. I have to do multitasking at home and in the office.
As much as I wanted to focus on work-related task at the office, I can’t help myself but browse my emails. There ,I will see inquiries about my blogs, comments I have to approve, Facebook updates, personal emails and the like. At the same time I’m signed in to my Yahoo Messenger and Skype, thereby continuously getting instant messages from my friends and co-bloggers. Of course, there is also the temptation to log on to sites such as foxybingo and indulge in a few online games. My cellphone beeps from time to time with messages from my boyfriend and siblings. The tricky part is – I’M ON CALL, giving technical support to customers on the other line.
I am proud to say that I am not sacrificing the quality of my job. I’m getting good CSAT score and QA. But still, I am guilty of a little bit inefficiency. How many times have I typed instant messages in wrong YM windows? Stuttered over the phone when I almost said what I was typing? Pasted wrong notes e.g. interchanging what’s supposed to be on my notepad and email. Of course I had the time to correct those mistakes within few minutes or so. I’d apologize to the customer and then repeat what I was saying rather, correct it. For chat, I’m getting used to “Sorry, wrong window” line. As for my notes, I can always edit it. Without doubt, I’m still doing good. The question is, until when and to what extent? Yes, I can do things at the same time. Problem is, it also takes time to make up with the not-so good outcome of simultaneous tasks.
What inspired me to write this post is the email shared by my manager with the link to Inquirer’s Learning Section: Multitasking does not work. To quote him:
I guess the main point is know WHEN to multi-task and WHEN to FOCUS on listening for the details.
e.g. you can watch and enjoy a movie at the same time having pop-corn or pizza with your favorite drink (or even cuddling your better half) but when it comes to listening to important communication and instructions I believe you have to FOCUS and ensure you do not miss a single detail…
I believe that most of the bloggers are part of multitasking generation but not attention-deficit at all as opposed to American research stated on the article. Afterall, it applies to young students or teens and not to 20 year-old people and up.
Nonetheless, it still made me curious about the book “Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life”.
Winifred Gallagher explains that inefficiency brought about by multitasking is due to distracted functions of the brain. It was supported by magnetic resonance imaging results showing that as we focus on demanding tasks, we primarily rely on our brain’s hippocampus (which governs memory). But as things and other stuff distract us, we unconsciously switch to another part of the brain, the striatum (which governs routine activities) resulting to fragmented recollection.
Believe it or not, multitasking requires more time than doing things one at a time: People multitask in order to save time but, in the end, they spend more time doing several things at once.
Rather than multitasking, go for timely organizing of things. Shall I say proper time management? Sort of, and setting of short-term goals and long-term goals will also fit in.
Image source: blogs.saschina.org