I reviewed my resume this morning. I’m not looking for another job – I was checking to see if I listed multitasking as a skill set that I possess. Thankfully it was not.
Attention everyone, “I stink at multitasking.”
At home I can do laundry, prepare dinner, empty the trash and check e-mail. What usually happens in the middle of this activity is I’ll lock up and forget what I was going to do. I’ll actually stand in the middle of the living room until I remember that I was headed to get a tissue.
Put me in front of the TV and rest of the world ceases to exist. My wife can ask me a question three times and I’ll not hear her. It’s frustrating to her because she multitasks well. She can have a conversation while reading a book and watching TV.
At work, my lack of multitasking ability is beneficial. Concentrating on one task and doing it well is, in my case, a stronger attribute because when I multitask to get everything done sometimes my work suffers.
When I approach a project, I break it down into multiple tasks. Take this blog post for example. I will research, write, edit, proof and post – five steps. That’s not multitasking – it’s accomplishing one task at a time. I have a to-do list each day of three to five significant work projects that need to be tackled one at a time.
I decided to admit my multitasking deficiency when I read an article in the New York Times that challenged “any man to talk on the phone, send a fax, reply to an e-mail, change a diaper, get a toddler a snack, monitor what your school-age children are watching on TV and add to the grocery list – all at the same time.”
I wasn’t up to the challenge. At best, I can listen to music while working, but that’s like counting breathing while walking as multitasking.
Do you think women are more naturally prone to multitasking? Are you a multitasker or a uni-tasker like me?