We enjoyed (and retweeted) an article by Ilya Pozin that appeared on inc.com and got picked up as a feature on LinkedIn yesterday: 7 Things Highly Productive People Do. Here’s a quote about multitasking:
Stop multi-tasking. No, seriously—stop. Switching from task to task quickly does not work. In fact, changing tasks more than 10 times in a day makes you dumber than being stoned. When you’re stoned, your IQ drops by five points. When you multitask, it drops by an average of 10 points, 15 for men, five for women (yes, men are three times as bad at multitasking than women).
Ilya’s point is in line with the research and methodology we’ve developed for our 4 Big Lies webinar. We thought the advice “Stop Multitasking” made universally good sense. But there’s another side. Here are some samples from the comments under Ilya’s post on Inc.com:
“So for me working on several things is the most productive thing for me. I had to learn how to do this because the rest of the world thinks you have to stick with one thing till it is done, which crippled me.”
“My natural instinct is to Agree with [previous commenter] about the multi tasking, as that is one of my natural skills that has helped me be sucessful.”
“For me, Multi-tasking is an essential skill, that technology has made easier.”
“Good in theory, not in practice for the services industry (PR, ADV, Marketing) – tell your clients you are only going to check email three times a day and shut off IM and you’ll quickly wind up with terminations. Shut the door, work in 90 minute intervals – and your team collaboration goes out the window. Again, good tips and goals, but clearly need to be adjusted based on industry.”
“Ha ha ha–the write obviously doesn’t HAVE to multi-task for a living. Ask any nurse (or mother) to not multitask. Good luck.”
We’re very interested in what makes multitasking effective for some people. Or for others, is it just busyness, which gives people the illusion of effectiveness?
Are you a multitasker? Is it working well for you? If so, we would like to interview you for our research. Leave a comment and tell us about it.