My previous, multitasking-bashing post may have given the impression that I'm against multitasking. I'm not. I'm for anything that helps you get your work done. Multitasking, or the illusion thereof, is appropriate when:
- You have a short attention span
- You crave novelty
- You're easily bored
- You're energized when there's a lot going on at once
- Deadlines motivate and thrill you
The caveats here are that:
- You need to be actually accomplishing things, not just spinning your wheels (however fast they go)
- You don't create crises for others and hinder their work
- You do not alienate people by giving them only half your attention
- You're aware that you're not getting things done faster or even more effectively, you're just using a work style that suits you
I'm a firm believer in finding ways to be organized and efficient that work with the way you are now, not the person you think you should be. Change your environment to suit you, not the other way around.
Personally, I hate multitasking. When I do it, I find that I can remember the primary task I did, but the secondary focus ones get forgotten. That means I have to go back and check to see if I did them, which is a waste of time and annoying to boot.
There's very little on the Internet in support of multitasking! This article is one of the few. Vos Savant makes some very good points, such as why talking on the phone while driving is completely different from talking to your passenger.
One Man Band from Jaroslaw Pocztarski's photostream.