|Photo credit: casey.marshall
Women are notorious for multitasking–doing more than one thing at a time. It's pretty much an unchallenged principle of motherhood that we multitask because we must. We simply have too many demands on our time and not enough time to accomplish them all (at least one at a time). I know I'm “guilty” of it. I seldom let myself do only one thing at a time.
The fact is, though, that studies have consistently shown that multitasking (a) isn't truly possible and (b) actually can be harmful.
A few weeks ago I blogged at Lifehack about the myth of multitasking (you can read my post by clicking here). It generated a bit of commentary, and I've watched other articles and blog posts in the weeks since continue the debate about whether multitasking is possible, and what the effects are (good and bad).
This morning I ran across another online article about multitasking, with a great infographic that breaks down the statistics about multitasking in personal life, the workplace, and schools. This article reaches the conclusion, based on these statistics, that for nearly all people, multitasking actually kills productivity, rather than enhancing it.
This article about the negative effects of multitasking, in a blog called The Salary Reporter (on the PayScale website) really is worth a look if you want to think carefully about how you manage your life and your time. I encourage you to read it, and perhaps to also read my Lifehack post on the topic.
As I'm moving into a new stage of life (my youngest is starting his freshman year of college as this post is going live), I am thinking about what comes next. What I want to accomplish with the next years, and how I'm going to fit into each day all the things that I want to do, in addition to the things I must do.
I've always used multitasking to try to make that happen, but in recent months I've found myself more and more distracted, less able to focus, more stressed and tired, and less at peace on a day-to-day basis.
Some of the answers to that dilemma might be found in the downside of multitasking. I'm trying to find ways to let go of that habit, to be more present and in the moment, doing one thing at a time, and doing it well. I think there's evidence that there's more peace to be found that way.
What do you think?
Are you a multitasker? In what ways? Do you think it boosts your productivity, or does it sometimes leave you feeling frazzled and pulled in too many different directions?