Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Focus: To multitask, or not to multitask, that is the question.

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” ~~Alexander Graham Bell~~

I’ve noticed a lot of buzz recently around the topic of multitasking. The thought used to be that if you could multitask, you were ahead of the game. The ability to focus on more than one thing at a time was seen as a great quality. If you could actually work on multiple things simultaneously, you were a tremendous asset. It seems ironic to me that the tide seems to be turning.

In this electronic age where it is so copiously possible to do so many things at one time (tweet while watching TV; comment on social media posts while sitting in a classroom; play on your laptop or tablet while doing just about anything; texting while also sitting and socializing with live people…) the buzz now is about focusing on a single task and not multitasking at all. Research is being done, and to some extent it is actually showing that people who work on one thing at a time complete more than the people who multitask. Studies are suggesting that the level of multitasking does matter, but at a certain point it actually becomes counter-productive. I find it ironic, but not surprising. Isn’t over-multi-tasking synonymous with a lack of focus? It seems to me that I should be able to switch gears quickly, be flexible, and be willing to change direction… but that I should focus on one thing at a time and see it through to fruition. I know that like the sun, when I put all my energy towards one thing, I burn through it with ease.

No comments:

Post a Comment