Multitasking is a popular concept. It’s common, especially to people who want to be productive in their work. This is also very prevalent in the white-collar environment. People are always finding ways where they can maximize time and hit two birds with one stone.
There’s nothing wrong with being productive, especially when you know that you’re capable of doing more tasks. Multitasking is further influenced by organizations as it’s seen as a desirable trait. But this is not a contributor to being prolific.
Multitasking may not be as productive as what many people believe.
There are good points in multitasking, but don’t let it be your only criteria for being productive at work. Sometimes, it helps to focus on one subject and master it to be productive.
The Role of Multitasking and Single-tasking in the Work and School Environment
Productivity can happen both at work and in school.
Students also experience multitasking when composing essays, finishing dissertations, and writing papers. Being able to do many assignments in the shortest period of time gives students an upper hand. It makes managing their schedules easier.
It’s not bad to multitask. There are people who respond well to multitasking, and there are others who don’t. More about this differences you can read in this psychology essay.
- Good multitasking enhances your productivity.
- Multitasking can boost your motivation and willpower to finish work.
- It boosts your creativity.
- You can switch back and forth various tasks with multitasking.
- You can juggle two or more tasks at the same time,
- You can finish tasks faster especially when you are beating a deadline.
Single-tasking, meanwhile, lets you concentrate on one task alone. This is good when you’re studying and mastering a subject. Sometimes, the fastest way of studying things is to finish them one step at a time.
- You can conserve more energy with single-tasking.
- You are also more productive with single-tasking.
- Your raise your commitment level when you focus on single-tasking.
- You can ward off distractions in single-tasking.
- Your attention span improves with single-tasking.
It’s Not Multitasking, but Serial Tasking?
According to Jim Taylor, in Psychology Today, there is no such thing as multitasking. He renames this as “serial tasking” where you shift from one task and transfer to another in a rapid session.
It means that you’re doing one task quickly then switching to another task. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t do two things at the same time.
It’s possible to engage in two different tasks at the same time. This can happen as long as different parts of the brain execute different tasks. One good example is driving while listening to music.
Being More Productive with Single-tasking
With single-tasking, people immediately assume that you’re going to be slow. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be productive though. You can still tackle things one at a time and get your work done for the day.
Being frantic and moving from one task to another will not work for everyone. Sometimes it even does the opposite and causes one to be exhausted. Concentration plays a huge part in being successful at single-tasking. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll find single-tasking an easy and fulfilling thing to do.
Which Is More Effective Between the Two?
The big question is, will you multitask or will you single-task? Both actually have their perks. You have to know which one works for you and stick to that format to get the work done.
Multitasking is better when you can combine cognitive tasks with noncognitive tasks. If you learn how to do this, then you can take advantage of multitasking.
If you are working on more than one cognitive task, then switch to single-tasking. This will give you more concentration to finish the work. Not only that, but it also keeps your mind free from stress.
Take things step by step and never push yourself to multitask when you know you can’t. Assess your situation and apply the best solution between the two.