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Multi-tasking: Good or bad?

Multitasking seems to be popular in today’s workplace. It means more work from fewer people, thus less outgo for salaries and expenses.

That’s what appears to be the thinking of many bosses and the conclusion from appearances.

However, many people think they are good at balancing several tasks at one time, but recent research indicates that switching from one task to another takes a heavy toll on productivity.

Think about this scenario: a surgeon cutting on you and the cell phone rings, a Twitter or text message pops up and they pull out that cell phone or whatever techno toy rings and responds.

Would you want to be that patient hooked up to various equipment, monitors and needles and tubes and have your surgeon take that call?

What about being 35,000 feet in the sky and the pilot hears that weird cell phone ring, takes his eyes off the dials, answers and chats a while as that jet plane hurls through the sky near the speed of sound? He or she is multitasking.

Those who have studied the phenomenon of multitasking say switching from one task to another makes it difficult to tune out distractions and can lead to mental blocks that can slow or interrupt your progress.

Bus and truck drivers, motorists of all ages multitask all the time. They’ve been seen reading a book or newspaper, writing notes, looking at maps, doing their hair, putting on makeup and, of course, talking and texting on the ever-present cell phone.

Experts say multitasking can reduce productivity by approximately 40 percent. That’s quite a hunk out of a day or week’s work and loss of time, energy and revenue that’s difficult to overcome in this tight economy.

Multitasking: good or bad?

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