>There’s been a trend lately where some
people bloggers are saying that we are actually incapable of multitasking (at worst) or just absolute crap at multitasking (at best). They say the way to Doing Stuff nirvana is to focus on one task and only that one task.
Well, DUH. Of course you are going to be more effective and efficient if you focus on just one thing, instead of letting your attention scatter across 100 different tasks. That’s just common sense, yo.
Most of these
blog posts speak of how to minimise distractions so that you are more effectively “unitasking” (Yarg! What a horrifying word!) What they don’t ever seem to touch upon is why we are freaking distracted in the first freaking place.
Frankly, I multitask because I’m bored, not because I think it is not cool to concentrate on one thing at a time. BORED.
There are times when multitasking makes infinitely more sense than (bleh) unitasking.
I’m going to mental vomit a little every time I use that word, ‘mkay?
::END SIDE NOTE::
At home, consider laundry. How useful would unitasking that shit be? Would you just sit in front of the washing machine and wait for the load to finish? Same with making dinner – you wouldn’t be able to start on making dessert until after the lasagne was finished baking. That’s not more efficient than multitasking, that’s retarded. There are just some things you do that cry out for you to multitask. No reason why I can’t read a book while doing laundry or drink a beer while my flatmate makes dinner.
No matter how much crapola I have on my to-do list, or how much the phone rings or how funny the Skype chat gets at work, if I am completely absorbed in a project/task/whatever I don’t even hear the siren call of gmail, Skype, lolcatz (whatever your poison might be) let alone answer the call. I become wholly absorbed in that one thing.
It is when the task at hand (like stamping invoices as paid) only takes up a portion of my brain that my brain goes for a wander. Or if I am putting off doing something because it isn’t as fun (analysing phone bills) as something else I would rather be doing (watching The Simpsons).
The secret to focusing has nothing to do with minimising distractions, willpower or ensuring that you are (bleh) unitasking. The secret is to find shit that is awesome that you want to think about, be involved in and absolutely love doing. Anything less doesn’t deserve 100% of your attention; fuck unitasking tasks that don’t make the cut.