The Myth of Multi-Tasking: How “Doing It All” Gets Nothing Done
By Dave Crenshaw
What it’s all about: If you think you’re doing awesome in life because you’re a great multi-tasker, you’re wrong. Dead wrong. Okay, maybe the book isn’t that dramatic on the whole issue, but it does illustrate effectively the point that our brains cannot actually do more than one thing at one time. So while we may think we’re ‘multi-tasking’, we’re actually ‘switch-tasking’, which harms productivity, focus and, ultimately, relationships.
Who it’s good for: All you out there who wonder why you can’t focus on…SQUIRREL! You get the point.
The good stuff: If you think that multi-tasking is one of your greatest strengths, this book makes you look at it in a whole new light. You’ll probably be able to go back through a number of occurrences where you didn’t get something done, didn’t give something the attention they deserved or didn’t focus fully on the moment because you were switch-tasking. It will also make you laugh at all those people on LinkedIn who have ‘Great Multi-tasker!’ listed in their bios.
The not so fabulous: If you’re looking for a well-written and researched book that offers up studies, evolutionary facts and more fascinating tidbits…this ain’t it. Written in story form (about a mythical CEO who hires a consultant to help get her business on track), The Myth of Mult-tasking is hokey and sometimes trite, which often distracts from the solid information that is really being offered.
Favorite takeway: Setting a time for people to talk with you will accomplish more AND make them leave you alone the rest of the time! Novel concept.
The epilogue: If you think you’re movin’ and shakin’ because you can do 10 things at once, you should check out this book. It’s a quick read, so even if you’re trying to skim it while cooking dinner, playing a game with the kiddos and solving world hunger (you crazy multi-tasker, you), some of it may still sink in. If it makes you actually look at your child when she tells you about her day instead of nodding while you check your email, it will be worth the investment.