Stop Multitasking and Put Your Phone in the Trunk

Do you think you’re being efficient when you check your email while writing a report about a meeting you attended? How about checking email on your cellphone while listening to your child describe an incident at school?

Multitasking Is A Polite (?) Way Of Telling Someone “I Haven’t Heard A Word You’ve Said”

Hard work is the classic characteristic of the American psyche. Whether driven by guilt, ambition or just a type A personality, many of us feel compelled to work as hard as we can and as long as we can. And, if you can work on more than one thing at a time so much the better, right?


Business coach Dale Crenshaw, author of “The Myth Of Multitasking: How Doing It All Gets Nothing Done,” debunks the value of multitasking, which he calls switchtasking. He also points out that, in some circumstances, it could send the wrong message.

“Multitasking is a polite way of telling someone I haven’t heard a word you’ve said,” says Crenshaw.

In a recent edition of AWARE, the Minnesota Life Group Insurance newsletter, Crenshaw and others who have explored the usefulness of multitasking are quoted about their research and experiences with multitasking. A management consultant tried for one week to give up multitasking and went so far as to put his cellphone in the trunk of his car to avoid driving and talking at the same time.

Do you think you could force yourself to work through your to-do list one task at a time? Read the article, “Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work” to learn more about Crenshaw and his research, plus some tips for converting to singletasking.

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