Multitasking: The good and the not so good!

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Up until recently, I viewed having the ability to multitask to be a commended skill. I saw myself as a multitasker and often used this skill to sell myself whilst at university and when applying for jobs. 

I was under the assumption that employers looked for this skill in candidates; that they wanted to work with people who could juggle a vast number of tasks without getting irate, confused or frazzled.  

I listened to a motivational speaker the other day and the subject was about your top three priorities.  Apparantely we should create a list of our priorities for the year, highlight our top three and scrap the remainder.  If one has too many tasks, they will give little focus to any, bringing mediocre outcomes, at best to each. 

This resonated with me. I am a do-er and receive much satisfaction from crossing off completed tasks.   I know for a fact that I “carry” too much. I also have a tendency to try to kill five birds with one stone! I fill pockets of time with tasks that I tell myself will only take two minutes. If cooking a dish that requires close attention, I will wander off to carry out another task then run back to check the food. I have a low attention span so a part of me probably enjoys moving from one task to another. It keeps the adrenalin going!

Let us look at a few pros and cons of multitasking;

Positives
1. Assists one in dealing with delays and interruptions 

2. It prevents boredom as it brings variety

3. One can move more than one project forward, even if with very minimal progress 

4. One can cope in a hectic environment 

Negatives
1. Slows progress as it takes more mentally to complete several tasks

2.  Less quality work as less time is spent on each

3. More time taken to remember where you last finished 

4. Less effective decision making 

What is your take on multitasking?

Is it a given that one should possess this skill whether in paid employment or running their own business?