First things first: if you can avoid multitasking, definitely do so. Trying to concentrate on more than one thing at a time is a recipe for mistakes, not to mention stress. Plus, most of us can’t really …
Who's good at multitasking? No one, according to a spate of recent studies, collected by Tom Bartlett at The Chronicle of Higher Education -- or at least, no one multitasks well enough to make it more efficient than doing one thing at a time. There's also a startling lack of concrete evidence that women multitask better than men.
If you want to start a fight at your next team meeting, just ask the group if they think listening to music helps them work better -- or totally kills their concentration. In no time at all, you'll have people lined up on two sides of the room, snapping their fingers and advancing on one another in a menacing fashion, like Sharks and Jets in button-down shirts.
Everyone knows by now that multitasking isn't actually more productive. You feel busy, but in fact, you're just spinning your wheels -- or worse, making mistakes that you wouldn't have made if you were able to concentrate on one thing at a time.
Here's some depressing news for people who are attempting to be functional humans in the 21st century: doing more than one thing at once, otherwise known as the only way anyone ever does anything anymore, is probably keeping us from being truly productive.