Multitasking; (Wo)Man or Machine?

Apr 1, 2013

MultiDid you know that the original intention of the word multitasking was in the mode of computer operation? The first definition for the word is; The concurrent operation by one central processing unit of two or more processes. The transition of this “skill” from machines to people came through the work environment that believed if you could multitask you were essentially doing more work for the same pay. Those seeking employment began to use the word in their resumes and employers during interviews asked more often if you had the “ability” to multitask.
Ever heard that women are better multitaskers than men? Does that make women more like machines because we may be better at juggling the multiple areas of our lives? Multitasking studies show that we actually lose efficiency and time at the rate of about 20% in the switching time between tasks. Most of us speak at the rate of about 125-150 words per minute although we have the capacity to understand someone speaking at about 400 words per minute. So since we’re only using about 30% of our brain capacity naturally we have the need to fill the other 70%. Mental clutter.
It takes real effort to focus on one thing at a time, which is probably why most of us avoid that.  We all know that we need to reduce the mental clutter for our businesses to be more efficient and our relationships to be healthier. Start with 30 minutes a day of focusing on one thing at a time and add another 30 minutes every 2 weeks or every 2 months, whatever works for you.