To Multitask or not to Multitask?

multitasking

Are you a multitasker? I sure am. I used to view that as a beneficial skill, but I am enjoying it less and less and am starting to see the hazards of multitasking more clearly. I have been asking myself dozens of times lately, to multitask or not to multitask?

Recently, there has been growing support for the hazards of multitasking. Dr. Paul Hammerness and Margaret Moore, authors of Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life , claim that multitasking increases the chances of making mistakes and hinders our problem solving skills.

And this understanding about the downsides of multitasking is not even new. Already in the 1740s, Lord Chesterfield offered the following advice to his son: “There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.”

To my amazement, one of the unforeseen benefits of the real-time time tracking is that it helps me stay focused on one task at a time. As I start a task on the application and the time starts ticking, in some strange way, I tend to be more focused on that one task. That doesn’t always work, but I tend to multitask less when I am using the Mobile Worker application to track my time. And, what is equally surprising to me, I feel much more productive when I don’t multitask.

Do you agree with Lord Chesterfield that “this steady and undissipated attention to one object, is a sure mark of a superior genius; as hurry, bustle, and agitation, are the never-failing symptoms of a weak and frivolous mind”?

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