Are You An Efficient Multi-Tasker?

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.

Wake up now!

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…

So true!

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.

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12 Responses to Are You An Efficient Multi-Tasker?

  1. Sherry says:

    wow you are busy with many blogs ;D

  2. Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  3. melcole says:

    Power ka talaga Lizzy when it comes to blogging. Dami mong blogs :D

    • Liz says:

      @ Melcole
      Haha. Minsan inefficient sis. Kaya dapat hinay hinay din. I have 4 favorite blogs na most updated. :)

  4. Jose says:

    Time management nga! uhmmm, but unahin u muna ung madali kaysa sa mga taska na dapat tlgang pagtuunan ng pansin!…Great post

  5. Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

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  7. Winziph says:

    thumbs up with ms. liz, im trying to do multiple things pero it didn’t really work. buti ka pa. super busy bee. : ) lol.

  8. yuuki says:

    hmmm…guilty as a multi-tasker…sometimes me ADHD din…hehe

  9. Robbie says:

    Wow you own 12 blogs?!?!?! And you have a full time job pa! Kaloka! Hahahaha.

    I try to multi-task as well since I have full-time and freelance work and I honestly didn’t expect that maintaining a blog is hard work.

    I guess the best thing to do is to allot specific time for each task and make sure you follow it. Kasi multi-tasking really is just spreading yourself thin.

  10. Nicquee says:

    12 blogs and full-time TSE! I feel like I know you personally but I really don’t. :) I’m from the IT world too but not a TSE. ;)

    I agree, it is important to know when multi-tasking is applicable and when it is not to be efficient.

  11. claum says:

    I thought I was very good in multitasking until I read your post.. Wow, I admire you for managing your blogs and your work! :)

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