Multitasking: pride or bad?

Lady at multitsaking - Pressure of work with limitations of time demands multitasking. Is it desirable? effective?
India
October 31, 2011 1:47pm CST
Hello there! Modern age demands on our lives are so much, willy-nilly, most of us end up multitasking to a lesser or greater extent. Like when a lady is cooking, she has to pay attention to the children to get them ready for school or answer a call someone wanting to know something right then; trying to answer call when driving; writing down a note at the same time as answering a call and beckoning an attendant for some need; packing some stuff for one customer while answering two other enquirers; Some are quite adept at handling multiple things at the same time; some get too overwhelmed at the prospect of taking on too many things; while some just don't bother-one thing at a time, come what may. Is multitasking needed? Is it good? Have you seen any one being very proficient at it? Love to hear!
11 responses
@jonahh08 (261)
• Philippines
28 Nov 11
If you can focus on different things at the same time then multitasking is for yo. But if you can't finish a task and try to begin another then you gotta forget about the whole multitasking thing.
• India
28 Nov 11
Honestly, I'm beginning to wonder if we think multitasking is great, are we visualizing it as a simultaneous tasking? Because, no matter how hard one may try, no one will ever be able to focus mind on more than one thing at the same time. Then, is multitasking is scheduling multiple tasks in quick succession without significant loss of time? So that one is not waiting to see something on hand is completely closed, before even touching the next one!. So it is an interplay between the no. of tasks one has to accomplish vis-a-vis the time one expends, so that the overall productivity is the peak. Thanks, you got me thinking further. And if what I wrote now does not agree with you, then we may continue till we piece it all together. Thanks.
@hexebella (1140)
• Philippines
4 Nov 11
Multi-tasking is good and beneficial especially if it's you who benefits from it....the bad side is that employers are using this for the company's benefits and abuse the employees. In this case, multi-tasking is a tool to slavery and exploitation. Once the employer has proven that the employee is capable to perform several roles, they will not hire staff for each role and just put all the responsibility to one person. Please check this article related to this topic, copy and paste the link to your browser address bar: http://socyberty.com/work/multi-tasking-a-modern-day-slavery
• India
4 Nov 11
Hello hexebella. Your comment is a crisp & a good perspective of how companies exploit employees and extract more from minimum numbers. The link shared by you is very informative. Thanks for the sharing.
@Aja103654 (5658)
• Philippines
1 Nov 11
maybe it is needed. It's okay to multi task if the one doing it is competent and efficient. If it overwhelms then it's clearly beyond limit and stressful, not healthy. I don't know if I am proficient or not... I hope I am. It's a matter of getting used to multi-tasking. Though getting help is better than doing it all alone.
• India
1 Nov 11
Hello Aja103654. I wish people who are greatly stressed with too little time for too many tasks will all be able to get help. But more often than not, help is not at hand. So, people find ways of getting effective by multitasking. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. :)
@shskumbla (3341)
• India
1 Nov 11
I have heard the word 'Multitasking' in a computer. That is we can do other works when another programme is running. So it is good.
• India
1 Nov 11
Hello shskumbla! Glad you concur with the idea of multitasking.
@jasonnaez (134)
• Philippines
1 Nov 11
I am not a fan of doing two things both at the same time (multitasking) because it scatters the focus that is much needed to accomplish the task with excellent result. Doing many things at the same time drastically reduces quality and effectiveness. This is one of the reasons why many companies are now getting rid of multitasking. Multitasking is also accident prone (driving while talking on cellular phone, etc.).
• India
1 Nov 11
Hi jasonnaez! There is no way one would differ that multitasking reduces the output quality of a job compared with one that is done with focus. But some people and some circumstances just prevail. In fact though we say people are multitasking, if we observe very closely, there is only one task that can be handled at a given instant or for certain blocks of time. What one perhaps means by multitasking is doing things in a planned succession and being able to switch between them with less time used for contemplation.
• United States
1 Nov 11
People have always had to multitask. It might be more prevalent now, but even in the Middle Ages, women still had to watch the kids and cook and try not to die from plagues. And men had to do things too I assume. I don't know what, but I'm sure there was some multitasking going on there. Multitasking is necessary to be efficient. If someone can't multitask then there are a lot of jobs that they won't be able to do. (Not all of them are "modern" or anything. Journalism for instance--having to talk on the phone and write stuff down about something else and listen to your boss all at the same time. That still happened decades ago, too.) Multitasking is good for getting things done. At a certain point though it can get to be too much. Is someone can't handle it then clearly it's too much. But humans have multitasked for a long time. A lot of people are very proficient at it. It comes with the job (of being human).
• India
1 Nov 11
Hi sacredcow! I am glad you think the same as me. That multitasking is inevitable for some people and many have mastered it quite well. Perhaps in the olden times, they were far more efficient given the low amounts of stress contrasted with the modern day jet age stress and pain. :D Thanks for your valuable inputs.
@Bluedoll (17069)
• Canada
31 Oct 11
It is all to do with expectations I suppose. I have a friend who is extremely good at it but the reason is because of how she uses her brain. Talking to her is going every which direction at once, by the way I was talking to a receptionist the other day about getting all the tasks done that need to be in before Friday and the phone rang. You will never guess who was on it. One good thing about multitasking is it makes for a more interesting day and is work proficient, if you are allowed to pass a task which is not completed on to someone else. A lot of things can get accomplished that way because as you know procrastination, is the worse tool of any because nothing gets off the drawing board, ever. Charlie.
• India
1 Nov 11
Hello Charlie! I agree that proficiency in multitasking makes sure one will not put off things remaining unaccomplished, by being efficient at handling several things with ease. I have to handle several tasks in a given time & there is no way they can be delegated completely. I have to multitask. I'll need lot more organized effort to be good at it though. Thanks
@bjc66bjc (6745)
• United States
31 Oct 11
Multitasking is great only when you feel sure can handle everything that one is attempting to do...Sometimes one take on task that requires undivided attention and we are trying to thread it into a web of many other task...its up to the individual.. It should be a decision made by one when they the have thought the situtation through and only do the things thats manageable...thats multitasking...remember haste makes waste....
• India
1 Nov 11
Hi there. I have seen some very efficient multitasking people in work places. As you say, perhaps they have assessed that they can be good at managing and have developed that kind of flair. I'm always impressed by such people's talent. Some of course have to do without being able to avoid & they face a bigger stress and may not do well. Probably a bit of just everything. Thanks.
@WakeUpKitty (8707)
• Netherlands
1 Nov 11
Women are already multi tasking since ages. You can't just be mother, you are cook, nurse, babysitter,etc too. And if you want some time for yourself you have to do more at the same time. Women can do that. To men it's more difficult they were never trained to raise kids, cook and have eyes in the back of their head as well to babysit and be the watch out and here the storyteller or salesman come over at the same time. The only thing that did change is the way we are multitasking. We are all in a hurry now. Everything has to go fast and the worst is we are still in time need. I don't think this is something modern age demands we do it to our selves. There is no reason to pick up your cellphone if you are cooking and whiping a kids nose already or you are on the toilet. It is very seldom that a phonecall is really that urgent that it can't wait for 5 or 10 minutes. It's just in our heads that we need to do everything at the same time now. Also multitasking is not a way to do things with care, attention and in the best way. Frequently it doesn't save us time at all. Good planning will and knowing what is priority. A kind of multitasking is needed. If you can't talk and put your shoes on at the same time because you are not able to do 2 different things at the same time it's a problem. But the way many people do it nowadays causes more stress and time as a good planning would. I am great at multitasking but I don't do it whole day on. Just when I am in time need but I don't let anyone or society or a cellphone control my life.
@Mashnn (4503)
1 Nov 11
To me, sometimes it really seems to work especially if the two tasks that Iam doing don't require alot of attention.
• Philippines
1 Nov 11
The demands of life makes it inevitable to do multi-tasking. I learned later on that if you would want quality from your outputs, you need to focus. But I guess multi-tasking cannot be avoided. Specially, when life of your family depends on it. Even companies look for workers who can multi-task. It is only I who works full time in our family. My mother and father stays at home and they have a small retail store and a room rental business. I see that they are happy the way they live their life. Their wants are simple and they get to pass time by spending more time taking care of their grandchild with my sister. I hope to retire at an early age and do things that I would truly enjoy. My parents don't multi-task and they live an equally fruitful life. I hope someday I can do the same. The key I guess is living a simplistic life. Have a nice day!!!