Multitasking and I, Multitasking and You.
I have heard a lot of things about being able to deliver. At this time of my life when I am really keen on navigating properly in my career, I have come to realize that there are certain skills I must cultivate if I want to ever make it in this life. Many interviews these days include questions like “how well can you cope under stress?”, “how do you manage your time?”, “what skills have you harnessed during the time when you were at So So So Limited”. When I discovered this, I was always determined to go for anything I can go for. Anything that comes my way will be worth my shot and that leads me to the practice of the term, multitasking.
Wikipedia defines human multitasking as an apparent human ability to do more than one task at the same time. APPARENT? Yes, apparent. I got to think about it. Could it be that it does not actually happen but seems to happen? I hope to find out too. Now, there are two sides to this thing. In my opinion, it is very good to multi-task if all the tasks lead to the same goal. However, in this my opinion too, on the other hand, it is risky to multi-task to an extreme.
The Good Sides
If you always wait for time to come in order to do some things, you may never find it. Perfect conditions may never come. Take for example, you are on lock down with your family and you are determined to finish a task before the lock down comes to an end. Then you remember another task, and you postpone till a far date. It is very possible that you would not achieve it. If you cannot get to joggle the ones you can joggle together, as a result of your ability to finish a task efficiently and so, another ability to add another task, you may not fulfill it.
Why do human resources personnel want people that can multi-task some times? Of course, it gives them an advantage! If you want to take a picture, write a document, tell a friend something and so on, and you can do all with a phone, will you start seeking for a camera, laptop, post office and all? No. When you can hire one person to do many things, it makes more sense to hire him or her, than to hire many people for specific tasks. We all want to be at the top of the employee list when we are at an evaluation point, so who would not want to multi-task? Who does not want to be a top candidate? It is a good thing to be ready at all times for various tasks.
The Bad Sides
Okay, please don’t think of crucifying me yet. There are definitely bad sides. Psychologists have found out that multitasking can be disastrous. I read somewhere about how distractions help the brain but when it becomes too frequent, it causes a problem on one’s mental health. Coming to the work environment, multitasking can actually lead to a reduction in efficiency and productivity. This causes a person who was initially a superman to start doing things with a lesser focus and a stressed brain. From smallbusiness.chron.com, I’ll quote this.
The New York Times cites a 2007 study by Basex, a consultation company that studied how employees perform their tasks in conjunction with the use of electronics. Basex estimated that businesses lose $650 billion a year related to the lack of job performance and creativity due to distractions.
Asides from this monetary loss, there would definitely be a loss on the stressed individual. Have you ever lost interest in things you always found joy in? Check again if you were actually focused on them while doing them, and you may find something interesting.
Okay! What do we do? Is balance possible?
I strongly recommend you find your balance. There are some of us who cannot do without multi-tasking. I, for one, read academic books and would still stop to check something along the way. I don’t dwell on the distractions but if not present, I may not accomplish anything. You may want to call it a “mind problem”. For some people, however, with a little distraction, they cannot continue with the major task. They need to be focused without hearing a beep, to assimilate anything. That could be you, too.
My take is still, find your balance. Do many things if you have the strength to, but if you don’t, channel your strength to your task. What’s your take?
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