Re: Does Multitasking Make You More Productive?

Replying to: http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/11/02/does-multitasking-make-you-more-productive/

I’m starting to hate these stock “multitasking is bad” articles.

It’s like Mac vs. PC ads.

At first it was, mmmkay?

Then it was: …kay???

Then this article makes it worse:

Now are you convinced to put down the iPhone while you peruse the Internet? If so, to fight distraction and find your focus, here are a few hints excerpted from “Time Management In An Instant: 60 Ways to Make the Most of Your Day“:

  • Create designated task times. By setting aside a selected time period to do all your phone calls, emails or errands at once, you will reduce the amount of time you spend going back and forth between them.
  • Put a system in place that lets you capture all incoming to-dos in writing. Instead of feeling pressure to do the item “now” (lest you forget), your brain can relax, secure in the knowledge that you have the item identified and stored.
  • Maintain a desktop inbox. Don’t just rely on your electronic mail box or filing system. By putting a physical inbox on your desk, you will be able to temporarily place items that need your attention in a location where you can easily find them.
  • Turn off technology. The ding of an email coming in, the buzz of the BlackBerry etc. — all these seemingly harmless inputs can tempt you to stray from the job at hand and multitask.
  • 1st advise adds another task you need to mulitask and monitor.

    2nd advise adds another task you need to multitask and monitor.

    3rd advise adds another task you need to multitask and monitor

    4th advise is telling you to close the tab where this article is written.

    To be fair, it’s not really Web Worker’s fault. I commented on a similar article on Dumb Little Man. (The link to which I no longer have.)

    I’m just getting sick of these articles where they fast forward these already “bare bones” productivity advises and slap them on any linkbait article like multitasking.

    Ok: Multitasking is bad. Now go actually give out an advise that actually makes us believe you tried your own advises and you multitasked less.

    Stop giving us more stuff to do and then ending it with the hypocritical Luddite productivity advise when we obviously know you are not going to abandon and take a vacation from your blog cause it’s “technology”.

    Look: For those productivity supporters saying these tips work and they become productive this way, I’m not saying these are horrible inefficient advises.

    I’m just saying these tips are watered down to be horrible and inefficient advises.

    Newsflash: Productivity articles are supposed to be written for us unproductive human beings. They’re not cheerleading articles for productive people.

    You want us to not multitask because it’s bad?

    Fucking give us specific timetables and a double-blind experiment for every category of human beings you know of.

    Stop giving us additional vague tasks like telling us to re-schedule our time and not giving us anything else.

    For Christ sakes, if scheduling really worked for enough people we’d have the Scheduler’s Revolution already instead of suffering from most Industrial Revolution-level problems.

    The same goes for systems this, systems that.

    Look, that works for “books” and other linkbait articles but when your article is about the horridness of multitasking (to which all of us unproductive people know more about than the back of our hand already) STOP SHOVING DOWN SYSTEMS ON OUR THROATS ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE NOT SHARING ANY SYSTEM AND JUST WRITING DOWN THE WORD “SYSTEM”!!!

    If I was successful with multitasking already, that would be MY system already.

    If I was failing at multitasking however, don’t you think I would also fail at multitasking “to create a system” especially if you didn’t fucking hand me anything to work with?!

    For crying out loud! Nothing screams multitasking like an “inbox” already and you want me to add another one?!

    Don’t get me wrong. I get some of the concept especially when GTD took off in popularity and there were lots of productivity blogs that supported that idea.

    BUT!

    It’s only a good advise if you are great at multitasking and turning the system into a “habit”.

    If you don’t, well “Golly Gee Molly” look at that folder rotting with papers besides me.

    …and can we please stop with throwing the technological baby out with the electrifying bath water?

    Again, newsflash: There wasn’t a massive shift in 3rd world productivity because the entire developing world got hooked in crack.

    These things are distraction but so is money. Don’t you think a person already passionate with their jobs wouldn’t know how to multitask on the things related to their jobs?

    These men are already fucking geniuses at what they do. They’re up there in the sky where all they need to do is get up, do their jobs, go home and get paid.

    The workers who need this article are the ones who can’t afford to schedule a specific time because they have things that require doing something more than answering a specific e-mail, they barely have their own place and if they add a huge multitasking beast like an inbox into their already busy life, their world would fall apart.

    The moral of this story is that yes, multitasking does make unproductive people become more unproductive while they make productive people get things done more but please if you want to help us be slightly more productive and less multitasking. Don’t dial 1-800-I-Have-Nothing-To-Say.

    Ignore the temptation. Follow your own advise. Don’t click the New Blog Post button and give us less things to read and less advises that would make us multitask more.

    Yes, dialing 1-800-I-AM-GONNA-ASK-A-RHETORICAL-QUESTION counts just as bad too!

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