Can you do one thing at a time?

Can you do one thing at a time?

In a word that is obsessed with the ability to multi-task, the real question has become can you do one thing at a time?  I know you are all thinking, of course I can, but think about it, really think about it.

Whenever you apply for or are looking for a job one of the criteria is the ability to multi-task.  Why?  Why is multi-tasking so important?  Is it so that your employer can load you up with lots of work, so that they can reduce staff overhead?  YES!!!  Come on, we know this is true, not that we want to admit it or let a potential employer know that maybe we are not the multi-tasking sort of person.  It is not possible for me to be writing this article and having a phone conversation at the same time, anyone that can do that and give their full attention to both is human marvel.  Realistically what happens is when the phone rings, I have to stop writing this to give my full attention to the phone call and will lose my train of thought.  My argument here is whether the ability to be able to multi-task is actually an advantage or a disadvantage?

Let’s look at the advantages of being able to multi-task:

  • Learning valuable skills to further your career
  • Gaining a wealth of knowledge
  • Being able to get more work done in a shorter time frame
  • Ability to think on your feet
  • Able to help others and assist the needs of the business
  • Keeps your mind on task and busy though the working day

Let’s look at the disadvantages of being able to multi-task:

  • The job never gets given a 100% as you are always juggling jobs
  • Getting the job done, is more important than getting it perfect – it’s the ‘that’s good enough’ scenario
  • Higher stress levels due to having too much to do at once
  • Reduced work/life balance
  • Frustration as you feel that you have more work to do than anyone else

As we can see, it’s hard to distinguish whether the advantages and disadvantages outweigh one another.  However I will admit that it would be nice to be able to do one thing at a time.  Instead of while watching TV you are also checking you mobile, cooking dinner, washing the dishes and whatever else needs to be done.  I guess we have to multi-task as life has just become too busy and we need to do as much as possible at once so that we have more time for other things, but what are those other things?  Are we rushing through life and missing the important moments?