The Myth of Multitasking

In my editorial column in the May/June issue of D.O.M. magazine, I discussed the myth of multitasking. The column was the result of seeing a job posting for a director of maintenance saying that the candidate "must demonstrate the ability to multitask." I went on to discuss how it is impossible to "multitask" because our brains aren't wired that way. Dave Crenshaw, author of the book The Myth of Multitasking: How "Doing it All" Gets Nothing Done, says what we are actually doing when we think we are multitasking is multiswitching - switching between tasks. Those that think they are good multitaskers basically are good multiswitchers; they are able to switch between multiple tasks faster than others.

In my column I mention a quote from Crenshaw where he says, "To say that you are an effective multitasker is the same as saying you are effective at doing things in a less effective way."

While it is true that juggling multiple tasks is less efficient than concentrating on each one and completing them one at a time, the reality is some situations require the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Even though it is less efficient to accomplish the tasks while multitasking, handling them one at a time is sometimes not an option. posted a blog this past Monday that discusses 10 Truths About Multitasking. You can read it by clicking here.

What are your thoughts on multitasking? How are you able to handle multiple projects? Is multitasking a necessary evil in management?

Thanks for reading!


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D.O.M. magazine is the premier magazine for aviation maintenance management professionals. Its management-focused editorial provides information maintenance managers need and want including business best practices, professional development, regulatory, quality management, legal issues and more. The digital version of D.O.M. magazine is available for free on all devices (iOS, Android, and Amazon Kindle).

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