The Myth Of Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking can lead to inefficiencies and increased stress 

Multi-tasking has become a well-recognized attribute in the workforce and the new norm — almost to the point where we now brag about our ability to juggle two or more things at once. Many job ads now ask for the standard prerequisite: “Efficient multi-tasker — able to juggle multiple projects and priorities under short deadlines”. Yet the relentless, almost contagious need to juggle more than one thing at a time can drain an employee’s time, energy and can lead to further frustration and stress in the workplace, says Carolin Rekar Munro, Associate Professor of Leadership and Human Resource Management at Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C.

Research shows that neurologically, we are single-activity beings. A recent study in the scientific journal Neuron suggests that while we can train our brains to work faster as we juggle, we never actually manage to do more than one thing at a time.

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Karen Richardson
Karen Richardson
Karen is a former editor of “Your Workplace.”