I always have thought of myself as an extraordinarily effective multi-tasker. In fact, I am. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. I’m sure it must cause undue stress. It’s not uncommon for me to be burning a DVD of files for a client, retouching a shot on-screen, watching Twitter out of the corner of one eye, while ingesting files from a shoot on another computer, and if there’s a moment those computers are busy I’ll jump up and prime the Keurig for another power boost or surf over to Facebook for a few seconds. But whoops… then in comes an unexpected email or phone call that I have to deal with and the multitasking comes to a halt. Not usually but sometimes I’ll lose track of one of the things I was tasking and remember it 15 minutes later. No biggie, but I just wonder about the overall effectiveness of multi-tasking for productivity.
Even with the multi-tasking my list of to-dos and ideas to pursue, rarely gets shorter and almost never disappears. I’ve been thinking alot about this lately and I think that I would like to cut back on the multi-tasking. I think I would do a better job to focus on one thing until completion (or a good stopping spot) and then take short breaks, then launch into a new task. That all sounds fine and good, but the MT habit is a hard one to break. As I was contemplating this I stumbled on this excellent post over at The 99%. The article is called It’s Time To Kill Multi-Tasking and is worth a read.