Some people swear by the efficiency of multitasking. Recently, however, some suggest that, not only is multitasking inefficient, it’s counter-productive. Whatever theory you ascribe to, humans seem “wired” to try to accomplish multiple tasks—ever since that first, Type “A” cave-dweller tossed a tuber on the fire next to the roasted woolly mammoth to cook meat and potatoes at the same time.
Nowadays, you don’t have to look further than the drivers next to you to see how multitasking has evolved, as they try to negotiate traffic, consume coffee, and work their PDAs all at the same time.
Take this self quiz to see how your multitasking skills rate. Answer “yes” or “no” to these questions…
- At the end of the day my “to do” list is smaller than when my day began.
- When completing multiple tasks simultaneously, I don’t combine tasks that require similar levels of concentration. For instance, I don’t try to listen, read or talk at the same time.
- When completing multiple tasks simultaneously, I choose one task that requires focused attention and one that is “mindless.” For example, while listening to a teleconference I stuff envelopes.
- While I’m in the process of completing more than one task, interruptions don’t throw me off track.
- I rarely (if ever) feel as though I don’t know what I accomplished at the end of a busy day.
- Rather than feeling overwhelmed, focusing on multiple tasks gives me a sense of accomplishment.
- I recognize my limits and know when to say “no” to accepting more tasks until I’ve sufficiently dealt with what’s at hand.
- My colleagues never complain that I’m “going off in all directions,” rather, they often ask how I manage juggling multiple responsibilities at once.
- I have the right equipment, work environment and supports that allow me to multitask.
- I have agreement and support from staff, colleagues, family, partners and peers to respect my focused work time.
- When unexpected tasks or distractions come my way, I don’t feel overwhelmed—I prioritize and deal with them easily.
If you answered “no” more often than “yes”, you may wish to enlist the help of an effective multitasker to bring more efficiency and free time into your life!
Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications