September 28 & 29, 2020 | Virtual
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This is interesting.Whilst the ability to multitask is often seen and regarded as a strength,it may also lead to decreased productivity due to lack of 100% focus.However,I believe there are certain scenarios that may warrant multitasking and others that may not
It's neither. It's a necessity. Project Management encompasses officially 10 knowledge areas. It is hard to believe that they are done sequential in a project.
Multitasking within a single project is a fact of life for PMs. Multitasking across multiple projects is a choice (often a poor one) made by their leadership teams.
As long as he/she be able to prioritize the assigned tasks, multitasking is necessary.
Multi-tasking is a myth. Do you mean multi-role?
I don't believe most people can truly multitask. We process single threads. Some people are very good at context switching, though, and can rapidly move from one process to another, then back again if needed.
For the majority of us, though, context switching creates a large amount of waste, often estimated to be around 20% (example below). Too many project managers multitask themselves into mediocrity.
Multi-tasking works until there is too much stimulus. For me, I can manage multiple projects and accomplish a lot, but there is a point where there is too much and I stop focusing on anything. I find myself "lost" or reading the news. Not accomplishing anything. Once I recognize it, I have to purposefully get back on track, usually by simplifying and making a list of needs project by project and focusing on one at a time. There are a lot of variables to my effectiveness when multi-tasking.
As seen here, people have different ideas of what multitasking is, and their opinions will necessarily vary depending on their definition.
Scientific studies as to the efficacy of people who try to flip back and forth between tasks such as texting during meetings show both their efficiency, and accuracy go down. Our brains are not wired for that. People who think they are better at it tend to be even worse.
By contrast, as PMs we usually don't have the luxury for true one-piece-flow. We change between projects when one is slow such as we are waiting for an input, and can even out our workload by moving to other things that need attention. That is a very different situation from the first, and the mental switching issue doesn't apply because we have time to fully disengage from one and reengage on the other.
Multi-tasking is inefficient, but having to work on multiple different tasks and projects throughout the day is a common reality for PMs.
The inefficiency comes from (context) switching as all work has some degree of ramp-up time and modal of thinking that gets more efficient over time/repetition. -Unfortunately knowing this does not fully allow me to escape from it :(
I find the best solution is to chunk my time as best I can; planning and devoting sections of the day to specific tasks and projects. Whilst trying to avoid distractions; which lure you in and tempt you to multi-task with the inevitable loss of productivity.
To do something well, you need to focus on it. If you have lots of things that need to be done well; prioritize, sequence and plan!
I cannot multi-task. I can do many things at the same time very poorly or I can focus on one thing and do it very well. On a small number of people are gifted at multi-tasking. Chances are you are not one of them so stop trying.
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