Multitasking is no longer vogue, is no longer novel or the latest productivity innovation. It is totally accepted as today’s norm. It is expected. Job seekers even list multitasking on their resumes as one of their skills. I cannot stand for it. I even despise multitasking.
I have criticized over the years for my lack of multitasking abilities. Retail pharmacy expected me to fill prescriptions, answer the telephone, see people in the pharmacy as well as the drive-thru, read and respond to e-mails, check pharmacy technicians’ work, and give patient immunizations…all at the same time. Now some pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are good at multitasking. They love the challenge and the “busy-ness” of all the tasks. Admittedly, it is hard for me to do. Those that know me, know that. Still, I think multitasking is absurd and pointless.
I always have been made to feel ostracized and incapable due to my disdain for multitasking. But I came across a wonderful book, The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan. This marvelous book has been a bestseller on numerous lists including a #1 bestseller on the Wall Street Journal and Amazon. I have an ally for my thoughts on multitasking.
“Multitasking is a lie,” states Gary Keller. The authors refer to three profound quotations that I too want to share:
“To do two things at once is to do neither.” – Publius Syrus
“Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.
– Steve Uzzell
“Every time we try to do two or more things at once, we’re simply dividing up our focus and dumbing down all of the outcomes in the process,” Gary says. Multitaskers have more loose ends to complete because of their multitasking. It has been researched that we lose 28 percent on average due to the need to multitask. There is evidence to that multitaskers make more mistakes and poorer decisions than non-multitaskers. Studies show that telephone conversations while driving take a 40 percent chunk out of one’s focus…it can have the same effect as being drunk.
Today car manufacturers offer Bluetooth as standard equipment. The telephone service providers admonish not to text and telephone while driving. Hospitals advise us to drive now and text later. So why do so many continue to ignore this sound advice?
“The people we live with and work with on a daily basis deserve our full attention,” declares author Dave Crenshaw.
Multitasking leads to bad choice, sorrowful mistakes, and undue stress. I prefer to live in the now, give whatever it is I am involved in, my best shot and my undivided attention. I’m glad that I do not multitask.