Until I saw this link on Guy Kawasaki’s blog, I thought the ability to multi-task was something to brag about. Now I wonder …
Guy read the article on a blog called LifeRemix. Here are some excerpts from the post:
In a project setting, itâ€™s easy to get distracted and try and complete multiple tasks instead of just working on one. This article argues that multi-tasking is not only a bad mindset to have, but it can actually make projects up to 30% late, with only one instance of multi-tasking going on.
When multi-tasking happens, your brain has to mentally go back to the beginning and let your mind catch up to the beginning of the last task you did.
Multi-tasking is the act of stopping a task before it is completed and shifting to something else; in software development the term â€œthrashingâ€ is often used to describe this practice. When a task is stopped and started there is the immediate effect of a loss of efficiency. Each time a person has to re-start a task, time is required to become re-familiarized with the work and get re-set in where he was in the process. It is very much like the physical set-ups done on a machine in production. Each time you tear down a machine to do another task, you have to set it up to run the part again.
This was earlier written about in detail on another blog – The theory of constraints. I thought it was an interesting perspective. Not sure I agree with it though. I have multi-tasked for years and I find that I get a lot more done than when I just focus on one task. Maybe each of us is different in how we handle tasks. Perhaps it also depends on the kind of work one does and whether the tasks are being handled by a single individual or it is a team effort. Nonetheless this theory made sense and I thought I’d share it with everyone.