Ok, I'll admit it, I'm thrilled with the recent study findings at the University of Utah reporting that people who multi-task the most are not very good at it.
Why am I thrilled? It's totally sour grapes. I can't multitask. At all. If I'm talking on the phone, I'm generally sitting completely still. Sometimes I may doodle a little. If I'm on my cell, I pace in a rectangle (don’t ask me why). But I have no illusions that I'm actually accomplishing anything other than talking on the phone. Sometimes, when I take notes while chatting with someone, I'll find that I have written down everything... everything that I said! Yup, there's my name and phone number. Oh yay, I underlined my address. Thank goodness, I got that info.
I think single-taskers try to keep our deliberate, non-juggling ways on the down low. The ability to focus on one thing at a time is not exactly sought after. Managers today want someone who can shift between 80 different tasks and who won't freak out when every day procedure suddenly changes. People like me don't fit in with the corporate idea of an effective worker.
It turns out, according to this study, that most self-proclaimed multi-taskers don't either.
In the study, co-authored by David Sanbonmatsu and David Strayer, participants were given a variety of tests and questionnaires to gauge their ability to multitask effectively and rate their perception of how well they multitask.
Of course, the WAY some employees multi-task today does not really correlate with the corporate ideal of a multi-tasker, anyway.
The boss wants a dynamo employee who can talk on the phone while typing up a memo, filing papers and responding to a client email. What they might get is someone who can send a tweet, while composing a text, listening to Pandora and updating their Facebook status.
So maybe it's ok to be the single minded, plodding single-tasker that I am. I could use this information as an excuse to gloat.
I could, but I've got six reports to edit and someone just interrupted me, so I am freaking out.