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Community Manager
Posts: 7,522
Registered: ‎18-02-2016

Is multitasking killing your productivity?

[ Edited ]

Hey everyone, 

 

multitasking is generally considered a good way to manage several tasks at the same time and get things done but could it be negativity affecting your overall productivity? 

 

This interesting article details the findings of British entrepreneur Carl Reader who discovered that those staff members who were multitasking we actually taking longer to complete tasks then those who focused on one at a time. 

 

multi-tasking image

 

He found that even the simple act of checking an email during a larger task affect concentration and it could take up to half an hour to get back in to the flow when returning to the main task and suggested a series of steps to prevent getting caught in the multitasking trap which included breaking your day into chunks which are used to focus on one bit of work and starting your day with the task you least want to do. 

 

Have you had any experiences with multitasking in the workplace and do you think it improved or hindered your overall productivity?

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Posts: 99,130
Topics: 765
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Is multitasking killing your productivity?

[ Edited ]

@Martin-O2 

 

I have only ever worked in nursing and then Nursing Management. Two different things.

 

When working on the wards you HAVE to multitask. You would get nothing done if you concentrated only on one job... Patient care would suffer as a result.

 

The problems is, if you move into management, you are, more or less, conditioned to work in the same way.  I got very frustrated with myself when trying to 'over multitask'

 

The list of things to do remained on my desk for far too long. Probably because they were started, then something else took priority.

 

I also had a boss (the Head of Nursing) who seemed to think my so called ('talents') *rolls eyes* was never ending.

I learned to dread a call from her, which usually meant she was requesting I do something else, in addition to my work load. 

 

It just resulted in me bringing work home all the time, including the weekends.

 

Having said that, I wouldn't change a thing. wink

 

 

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Community Manager
Posts: 7,522
Registered: ‎18-02-2016

Re: Is multitasking killing your productivity?

That's a very good point @Cleoriff . There are many roles where not multitasking is simply not an option. 

 

Prioritising definitely comes into play but if you start to many things I find I can get lost in the tasks! 

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Level 33: Firestarter
Posts: 6,806
Registered: ‎03-08-2018

Re: Is multitasking killing your productivity?

Hi @Martin-O2 

Interesting article, but I think Carl Reader pontificates too much.

It is not possible to do a single task without other things need attention

not necessarily called multi-tasking which is carrying out tasks simultaneously

which is not possible.

I like to do lots of varied things and fit as much into a day as possible makes

for a much more interesting life.

Knew that @Cleoriff  would definitely need to carry out various multi tasks

throughout her day.



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Re: Is multitasking killing your productivity?

My last 2 mornings, from 08:30 to about 10:30, have seen me on a conference call, dealing with a change to an IT system and fielding a walk-in query... It can be done, but by about 4pm I was beat - and on the second day, I had a live demo to attend from 4 to 6pm. So much for men not being able to multitask... Not sure I want to read an article that's going to preach, or pontificate, at me. 🤯
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Posts: 99,130
Topics: 765
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Is multitasking killing your productivity?

Carl Reader should work in a variety of different work environments before making statements like this:

 

Carl Reader is an advocate of taking a few days to carefully monitor what you do on an average day. “By spending time jotting down the tasks I was working on, it became easier to see how little time I was focusing on what was really important,” he says.

Armed with this knowledge, Reader began seriously planning his days to make the best use of his time. “Rather than letting my day shape me, I shaped my days,” he says. “Now in the evening, for the next day, I map out times for getting specific tasks done, as well as building in free time for any other business. Since I started doing this, I’ve been astounded by how much I can get done.”

 

He needs to work for a week in a busy Accident and Emergency Department!!

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Level 33: Firestarter
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Registered: ‎03-08-2018

Re: Is multitasking killing your productivity?

Thank our lucky stars he doesn't work in the A&E @Cleoriff 

 

Silly man.



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Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Is multitasking killing your productivity?

I agree @TallTrees 

Totally impossible if working in A/E to achieve this..

 

"In the evening, for the next day, I map out times for getting specific tasks done, as well as building in free time for any other business".

 

The best you can do in any A/E dept is plan, with the staff available, who will be doing what. For instance Triage, Minors, Resus, Emergency assessment unit, etc etc. All of which can go pear shaped if you have staff sickness or a multiple road traffic accident. You have no idea, on any given day, what will come through the doors.

 

All I know is, Friday night needs more staff. Usually called Fight Night in our A/E. Also the night when every member of staff is at risk of patient violence.

I doubt Mr Reader can figure that into his 'planning algorithm' Evil

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Level 33: Firestarter
Posts: 6,806
Registered: ‎03-08-2018

Re: Is multitasking killing your productivity?

Ooh just thought @Cleoriff 

you CAN multi-task this week-end

a glass of happiness in each hand !

Hope you are blissfully happy Spaced

 



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Re: Is multitasking killing your productivity?


@TallTrees wrote:

Ooh just thought @Cleoriff 

you CAN multi-task this week-end

a glass of happiness in each hand !

Hope you are blissfully happy

 


Having the time of my life @TallTrees  joy

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