There is a lot of controversy about multi-tasking and whether it increases or decreases productivity. The truth of the matter is that there are pros and cons to multi-tasking. On the one hand, it allows us to approach more projects and it keeps our days diverse. On the other hand, multi-tasking can make us feel overwhelmed and may result in a poor quality of work. To make the most of multi-tasking, it is important to learn to multi-task in a way that emphasizes the benefits of it while minimizing its drawbacks.
There are many benefits to multi-tasking. We are able to include many different types of activities in our lives in one day because of multi-tasking. This can make our lives feel more well-rounded and richer in experience. Additionally, the ability to move back and forth between projects can prevent boredom and keep us inspired and creative in our work. Furthermore, multi-tasking lets us use our downtime productively (such as when we are waiting in line to do one thing but on our laptops or phones taking care of another). In a modern world, multi-tasking is often the only way to get everything done.
Unfortunately, these benefits do not come without drawbacks. Multi-tasking divides our attention which often means that the quality of work on any given task is lower when multi-tasking than if we had approached the task with a singularity of focus. Additionally, we may waste time moving back and forth between tasks because we need to remind ourselves of where we were when we left off. In many cases, tasks simply don?t get finished at all because we?ve already moved on to something else which means a decrease in overall productivity as a result of multi-tasking.
The key to making the most of multi-tasking is to understand these pros and cons from the inside out. What we can learn is to prioritize our tasks and projects in terms of both their importance and the duration required to complete them. Tasks that are very important and which should be of high quality should be given our singular attention. Tasks that are of short duration should be completed in one sitting so that we don?t waste time breaking them up and coming back to them. In contrast, tasks that are of lesser importance or which are prolonged and may get dull if focused on intently are good candidates for multi-tasking. Organizing our multi-tasking in this way allows it to work for us instead of against us.
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