Ever hear employees brag about how well they multi-task?
Then it may be the perfect time to take a closer look at the quality of their projects and tasks.
Fact is, when you’re doing two (or more) tasks at the same time, you’re giving each only a fraction of the attention each deserves.
In recent years, studies have shown that multi-tasking, as well as switch-tasking (going back and forth between tasks) often leads to:
- an increase in errors
- decreased creativity (so it’s not the person’s “best effort”), and
- a decrease in “perceived” control.
Even worse: The time to complete a task often doubles. So there goes the time-saving element that makes people multi-task in the first place.
A few cases where multi-tasking is OK
Multi- or switch-tasking can be effective in some cases.
For example: Printing a large document while answering e-mail.
Another example: Deleting items from a work schedule while listening to voice mail.
The more clerical the tasks, the more appropriate it may be to multi-task.