I’m beginning this post with a deep sigh (*SIGH*). I’ve long envied the ability of some people to do more than one thing at a time. Multitasking is something I’m just not any good at.
There is plenty of recent study data to support the idea that multitasking not only inhibits productivity but increases lead times to project completion.
This study, of several judges in the Italian court system, shows that in addition to extending cycle times of project completion, multitasking contributes to an increase in the size of work backlog.
We work in an age where knowledge, not industrial work, is the preeminent means of gainful social progress for our civilization. Yet we work in such highly competitive industries, myself included, that the drive to get more done in less time has driven us to the need of being always ‘on.’
I’m not throughout stones here, in the worst offender, just ask my wife.
But it is that much more critical that strive to block out sections of true downtime, where we are completely present in the moment, without distraction, to take a time-out from life, even if forced; where we can take stock of our lives, identify the patterns of habit that are or aren’t working, and just be.
Maybe we can then ratchet down the squelch level and truly identify our dreams and at least get a taste of how are lives can look like something different than living on a harried treadmill…
Here’s my new campaign ‘Stop the Multitasking Madness!’