To Task or to Multitask -- That is the Question

I just read an article on multitasking and I wanted to share my comments.

Actually, the article wasn't about multitasking, rather it was about single tasking -- or, Serial Workflow -- and the benefits of focusing on the completion of one task until it is  properly completed. You can view the article at: Is Multitasking Dead?

Multitasking certainly had its day. Candidates for jobs often presented themselves as "multi-taskers" who could get loads of things done, presumably at the same time. All promised the prospects of being very efficient and effective.

However, it soon became apparent that punishing lists of assignments and new technology could conspire together to where people would try to accomplish numerous complementary tasks simultaneously. The general practice was to do a little here and put it down, do a little there and put it down. Usually people became overwhelmed with data overload, or seriously distracted. Nothing got done.

The new process -- Serial Workflow -- promotes doing one assignment at a time, working exclusively that single project until it completed.

There is a great deal of merit to this approach. It relies heavily on "To Do"  Lists, which prioritize work assignments, so the most important is being worked on and completed first. It has the additional advantage of focusing the worker  (or yourself, as the case may be) to actively concentrate on the project or problem until it is completed. The opportunity to avoid or run from the problem is not the option it once was.

It certainly can be useful to be forced to complete the task, without the option of retreat -- whether for my employees or for myself. I believe this approach offers the opportunity for more productivity and efficiency in the long run.

Is Multitasking dead? Do you believe Serial Workflow could improve efficiency and productivity. I would enjoy to hear you opinions!

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