Business Musings Wellbeing

Multi-Tasking and Switch-Tasking? Or Quality Over Quantity?

Reading time: 2 mins

In a world that tells us that multi-tasking is an admirable trait, studies published as far back as the early 2000s prove that multi-tasking negatively impacts productivity. 

Multi-tasking…a must-have key skill?

I’ve seen ‘multi-tasking’ listed as a key skill on many a CV, and can attest to placing in it on my CV myself. However, studies show the reality: multi-tasking reduces productivity and affects our brain health in the long run. Focusing on one task at a time yields better results than spreading ourselves thin.

As we know, no job or project is worth putting your health in jeopardy. So why do we still cling to ‘multi-tasking’ as a much sought-after skill?

What about switch-tasking?

Switch-tasking is often mistaken for multi-tasking, and whilst multi-tasking involves working on a range of tasks which fulfil one goal, switch-tasking involves flitting back and forth from one task to another to accomplish a number of set goals.

Many a time, we switch-task without giving it too much thought. By the end of the day, we may look back and see that tasks were completed in part, but not full.

The race against time…

In the early days of starting my business I quickly found I had to wear many hats as well as seek ways to create balance. What I soon learned? Focusing on too many tasks or switch-tasking puts us at risk of running ourselves ragged to reach deadlines.

Multi-tasking and switch tasking doesn’t always save time, and, depending on the task—such as writing, admin, marketing, research or even accounts—I had to place myself in a different frame of mind which created a time delay in itself.

Quality over quantity…

I’ve learned in this process to recognise that I’m only one person, and my firm belief is that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.

Research shows that focusing on one task at a time results in outcomes of a higher standard. Yes, quality over quantity—but be careful! Don’t mistake ‘quality’ for ’perfection’ and, in that quest for perfection, become so critical of your work that you fail to complete anything at all.

How do you tackle your workload? Do you believe multi-tasking is counterproductive? Or do you believe it is a must-have skill? Do you have a tendency to switch-task? Plenty of questions, but I’d love to hear your answers. Let me know your thoughts.

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Aisha A. Phipps

Musings of Ms. Phipps

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© Musings Of Ms Phipps and Aisha A. Phipps (www.msphipps.co.uk) 2018-2019. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. To enlist Aisha’s services, go to www.aishaphipps.com

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