Multitasking Kills Puppies

OK, maybe it doesn’t but it’s definitely overrated. And I can’t do it.

I sometimes have focus so intense that someone walking up behind me and saying “hi!” can scare the crap out of me. Like heart-leaping scared. So flipping my focus back and forth between two things is just a huge drain. And it’s totally not worth it.

So it’s good to hear other people in support of a ban on unnecessary multitalking. Singletasking is where it’s at. All the cool kids are doing it.

Comments (7)

  1. Rob says:

    Multi-tasking definitely involves too much short-lived context-switching.

    To coin the phrase: multi-tracking is where its at.  Doing multiple things at once isn’t nearly as important as being able to plan ahead and have all threads converge at a focal point.

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Rob – you sound much more organized than me 🙂 And that’s saying something!

  3. Duncan says:

    One of those links you posted, someone had commented and nailed the issue.  That is, wanting people who can multi task used to mean that they could run multiple projects well, not that they are doing multiple tasks at the same time.  I can run multiple projects, but I do not like having my current focus interrupted unless it is an emergency, in which case, you switch focus for a period of time.

    I don’t agree with doing multiple things at the same time at work. Your not being paid double time and bottom line is that few people, if any, appreciate it in the long run.  It also sets an expectation that generally results in a greater workload.  That does not fit in with my work philosophy which is to do the minimum amount of work possible whilst still getting an above average review.  

    The best way to achieve that is to do something spectacular once a month  🙂

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    Haha. Now I am wondering if you were kidding about the cassette tapes. I didn’t want to ask 🙂

  5. Justin says:

    I use to brag about my multitasking abilities when I worked in a call center, now I find that it’s more of a distraction than anything else. I once actually listed that "I could multitask better than anyone I knew" on a resume… What on earth was I thinking?

    After awhile, you learn, as others have stated, that it’s not the tasking, it’s the tracking of everything that pulls it together. Now, I do two to three things at once, but I put a little more focus in each.

  6. Greg says:


    I came across your blog and find it intelligently written and useful. On multi-tasking, there was a recent (in January2010) Frontline on PBS called "Digital Nation" that took multi-tasking "to task" regarding if it’s even possible. It referenced some studies that show the actual attempt to do several things at once actually degrades our ability to do any one of those tasks well.

    So be proud in your single-tasking crusade!

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    Thanks Greg! I’ll be a proud mono tasker!