Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Multitasking: a liberal collective of misfiring synapses jet skiing through a hurricane

This may get me in trouble with a lot of mommies (and some daddies) for saying this, but we really can't multitask effectively.

In fact, it just ain't happenin'; there is no such thing as effective multitasking. It's a myth of epic proportions.

What you've got is a liberal collective of misfiring synapses jet skiing through a hurricane. How focused can you be on anything in that?

You can't. In fact, in today's constant barrage of information in our lives from work and play and everything in between, we're so easily distracted it's no wonder our children find us to be adults with ADD.

We make them cry (for our attention).

According to a recent Stanford research study on multitasking:

Social scientists have long assumed that it's impossible to process more than one string of information at a time. The brain just can't do it. But many researchers have guessed that people who appear to multitask must have superb control over what they think about and what they pay attention to.

But after a series of tests:

Heavy multitaskers underperformed the light multitaskers.

Every time. As opposed to really trying to focus and executing on linear tasks, improving the quality of work and life. At least that's what I believe.

Okay, you may argue with me that you've raised three children while running board meetings and blogging simultaneously out of your own living room, productively, efficiently and effectively.

I ain't buying it. I'm lost in the heart of the information hurricane everyday and struggle to focus what needs to be focused on and ignore what should be ignored. Women's brains may fire differently than men's, but the research is pretty clear. Multitasking is painfully ineffective. Another post from a blog I read related how poor multitasking affected customer service at an airline.

But it can happen anywhere at anytime - poor customer service - and when it affects your family and children, that spells trouble, even danger.

Yesterday my daddy daycare Friday turned into a 1/40/70 sandwich yesterday (with baby and parents). Love them all, but the only way to get through that is to focus on one task at a time.

Unitasking means improved productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and safety first.


  1. I really hate that word . . . Multitasking. It's all BS.

    I put one foot in front of the other to try and get through my day. I've been accused of being slow and methodical. Oh, I guess it's better if I'm quick and multitasking and screwing everything up so I have to do it over anyway?

    Sorry for the rant, but I was never a believer in multitasking. I think you should do one thing at a time and do it well.

    In the work world I've always thought multitasking was just another way of saying, Hey, we want to you do more work in the same amount of time so we don't need to pay someone else to do and thus protect our bottom line. (Can you tell I've been there, done that?)

  2. I'm the type of person that eats one thing at a time, so that mentality generally spills over to other things. Being a retail assistant manager, though, I can't afford (or am told I can't) to not multi-task. Some days I just can't wrap my mind around it.
    Surprised Mom is absolutely right, it's all about 'streamlining' the business: getting as much done with as little people as necessary.
    Quality generally suffers.

  3. That's another unfortunate trend with economy busts and layoffs - quality customer service and product/service delivery suffers across the board. And then there are those who have been laid off trying to keep their families afloat at home - that "customer service" suffers and that kind of pain is incalculable.