The Myth of Multitasking

More activity doesn’t mean better productivity.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

How many people believe they thrive on doing at least two things at a time and believe that they are achieving optimal results? When you are on the phone, do you ever hear the clack, clack, clack of the keyboard in the background of the other party? Or if you are in the middle of a conversation do you sense that the other party has to put you on hold because there was someone who may have entered his or her office? Or, finally, you use a hands-free device for your conference call, do you put it on mute and then conduct in-person conversations in your office, or go through your email?

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What happens? You lose the essence of the conference call; you may have been given an assignment you missed or you did not respond to questions that were directed toward you. What does this tell the host of the call or the other participants? Not only are you rude, but you may be the person who will throw a wrench into the spokes of an initiative that everyone is invested in.