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Keith Tse


  • Writer's pictureKeith Tse

Multitasking (3)

I have defended my habit of multitasking before, and I have my reasons. Psychologists argue that doing multiple things at once reduces one’s productivity and ability to focus which in turn diminishes one’s efficiency and the quality of one’s work. There is probably a lot of truth in that, since focussing on one thing 100% can clearly yield better results that just 50% and expend the other 50% on something else, which is hardly rocket science. However, I still find multitasking a useful strategy in getting things done, since after focussing on one thing for too long my mental energy gets depleted to the extent that I can no longer do it anymore, which, in popular parlance, is known as ‘feeling saturated’. At this stage, it becomes futile to keep digging into the task at hand since without the initial spark of interest the task does become a bit of a drab, and not one that can yield treasures either. I hence feel compelled to switch tasks and move on to something else, preferably one that I have not done in a while so as to reinvigorate my mental system, and it usually works, not only in terms of seizing time (carpe diem!) in getting as much work done as possible (let’s face it- we always have more than one thing to tend to at a certain time and switching tasks is as easy as it is impossible to avoid) but also as a way of refreshing my body in view of coming back to the original task later on with a much higher level of interest and enthusiasm, which can undoubtedly boost my productivity and efficiency. This, again, is hardly rocket science, and in fact scientists also advise that one exercise as feasibly as possible during one’s workday so as to get one’s blood flowing and avoid mental/physical stagnation. It does seem paradoxical and self-contradictory that one is advised to stay focussed on one thing and move around at the same time, but it all boils down to finding the magic optimum between extremes and avoiding extremist and simplistic tendencies. It all makes sense, and it is not rocket science.

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