I Should Not Be Multitasking

I made a mistake at work yesterday in a process I developed and know back to front. It was only a single step, but a crucial one. It is so frustrating when you know that the only person you can really blame is yourself.

But there is one lesson I can take away from this, that I should not be multitasking.

You see, once you become familiar with a task, routine or process, your brain starts turning to autopilot. You can, as they say, do it with your eyes closed and your hands tied behind your back. And so you take it for granted that it doesn’t need your full attention and you feel like it’s okay to do that thing and two others at the same time.

This is fine for simple things that aren’t hugely important if you don’t do them perfectly, like brushing your teeth or jogging, tripping up doesn’t screw anything up too badly. But when it’s part of a business task, you had better be paying attention!

I tried to run through multiple tasks at the same time to be as productive as I could, and it worked mostly, until I made a mistake.

I know better than to multitask. I’ve read the articles and some of the studies linked to them. I tell people myself that multitasking is a false economy, it feels much more productive than it actually turns out to be.

My first mistake was multitasking and my second mistake was created by the first.

So now I’m back on track to just not multitask at anything, I’ve learned my lesson today and I hope my readers can learn from my mistakes (and create their own instead).

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