The Myth of Multi-Tasking


It’s the desired skill…..

listed on so many job postings, multi-tasking.

Even though studies show that multi-tasking is ineffective, and can even lower your IQ, it is still a highly sought after skill. What your employer wants is to save time because time is money, but can you really do two things simultaneously? What the employer is looking for is someone who can easily switch back and forth between tasks, or for example continue typing an email while you’re on hold over the phone with a vendor.

Multi-tasking can cause several problems. Because your thoughts are dividedsomething can be missed and you’re more apt to make a mistake. Also your stress level goes up while your multi-tasking. Studies of the brain even indicate your brain health is effected negatively.

photo by Anna Dziubinska

Multi-tasking spills over into all areas of our lives. We get home from work and want to get as much of our “to do” list done. The consequences of this are not living in the moment. Not savoring the little things in life. It’s the “hurry up so we can relax”, instead of just living relaxed. Consequently relaxation is illusive, there’s a point where it’s hard too slow down and just be.




So what’s a person to do?

Gradually eliminate multi-tasking from your life. Make a list of things you need to get done and then focus on one thing at a time. Making a list will allow you to mentally let go of that running narrative in your head of all of the things you have to do.

Retrain your employer.

Your boss is not standing over your shoulder for 8 hours. Doing one task at a time with full focus is better for you and for the companies bottom line.  Overall quality will go up, and at the end of the day you will be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished. Your  employer will learn that, and even if your total tasks for the day go down by a small percentage, the increase in your quality of work will increase. Impressing your employer in different and more improved ways.

The same approach can be taken at home.

Make a list and promise yourself that you will pick one thing at a time to finish. Then put the list away, tomorrow is another day. Enjoy spending time with family and friends or engaging in your favorite hobby.

We all have choices and are often unaware of how committing to making small changes can greatly improve our quality of life. When it’s all said and done you can live a much more productive and fulfilling life by kissing multi-tasking good-bye.



Rachel Ferguson

3 Ways to Stop Over-Thinking

How to Eliminate Stress

9 thoughts on “The Myth of Multi-Tasking

  1. The myth of multi-tasking and the tyranny of the to-do list are two things I try to avoid. I also find starting each day with at least 15 minutes of prayer and meditation to be very helpful.

    On a semi-related note, last year I participated in a book study on the importance of Sabbath rest in our lives. Here is the book we used:

    It was a wonderful book with a lot of good information and helpful exercises in it. I need to re-read that one again soon.

    1. Ken that sounds like a great book. I will have to check it out. Society moves so fast today and rest is not high on the priority list. The world would be a better place if people truly did rest on the Sabbath!

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