Multitasking Decreases Productivity

The problems with multitasking are becoming more and more well know, thankfully. Here is another article on the lower productivity multitasking produces – Multitasking Madness Decreases Productivity by Barbara Bartlein:

In a recent study by Eric Horvitz and the University of Illinois, a group of Microsoft workers took, on average, 15 minutes to return to serious mental tasks, like writing reports or computer code, after responding to incoming e-mail or instant messages. They often strayed off to reply to other messages or browse news, sports or entertainment web sites.

These findings are similar to those of David E. Meyer, a cognitive scientist and director of the Brain, Cognition and Action Laboratory at the University of Michigan. “Multitasking is going to slow you down, increasing the chances of mistakes,” said Meyer. “Disruptions and interruptions are a bad deal from the standpoint of our ability to process information.”

“Many people delusionally believe they’re good at this,” he says. “The problem is that we only have one brain and it doesn’t work that way. In reality, nobody can effectively do more than one remotely complicated thing at a time.”

Related: The Siren Song of MultitaskingMulti-Tasking: Why Projects Take so LongFlow (the opposite of multitasking)

One thought on “Multitasking Decreases Productivity

  1. Pingback: Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog » People Cannot Multitask

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