Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Multitasking: "not paying attention"

From Jared Sandberg's column "Cubicle Culture":

Multitasking, a term cribbed from computers, is an information age creed that, while almost universally sworn by, is more rooted in blind faith than fact. It's the wellspring of office gaffes, as well as the stock answer to how we do more with less when in fact we're usually doing less with more. What now passes for multitasking was once called not paying attention. . . .

"Multitasking doesn't look to be one of the great strengths of human cognition," says James C. Johnston, a research psychologist at NASA's Ames Research Center. "It's almost inevitable that each individual task will be slower and of lower quality."
Link » Why Multitasking Doesn't Work (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Related » Multitasking Makes You Stupid

Also related » Clutter

comments: 1

Anonymous said...

I've always known I'm not very good at multitasking. For several years I worked a job that was a three-ring circus. Absolute accuracy was essential and we worked against a daily deadline, but we constantly switched back and forth between tasks. The non-stop interruptions forced us to check back over and over again to try to avoid mistakes. It was crazy.