A Quick Guide to Productivity: The Multitasker and Single Tasker : There are two ways to get things done – one at a time, or all at once. The single tasker performs only one task at a given time. The multitasker simultaneously juggles several tasks to produce results. You can be any of these two and still be able to achieve something. But what is more productive and effective in producing outcomes? Let’s compare and contrast single tasking and multitasking.
Single Tasking: Quality
With single tasking, you get to focus on the task at hand. You can choose to finish it before moving on to the next, or switch between different tasks and handle them one at a time. Switching from one task to another is not multitasking since your focus will solely be on a single project. It is something single taskers do to fight off boredom and encourage productivity. The main advantage of single tasking is that it is a quality-oriented approach. Since it limits your attention to a single task, you can deliver consistent results almost every time. Unfortunately, a single tasker won’t be able to do much in a short time frame.
Mulitasking is a strategy wherein you handle several tasks at a time. Different jobs are performed simultaneously. These tasks may be related to one another and share a common goal, or they could be distinct and have various goals altogether. Multitasking is a more quantity-oriented approach in that it allows an individual to finish things simultaneously. It can be distracting though and requires you to divide your attention.
Which is better – single tasking or multitasking?
The single tasker and multitasker are both capable of attaining results, except they do so in various ways. To say which of the two is better is impossible. Some people are quite efficient at multitasking while others are not. One person can talk on the phone and finish a writing job without compromising his work, while another is unable to focus on writing when he is conversing with a friend. The same could be said for single tasking. Not everyone is patient enough to focus on one task for prolonged periods.
If you truly want to be productive, you must learn to adapt. Be flexible enough to switch between multitasking and single tasking. Base your decision on factors such as time constraints, the availability of resources needed to accomplish tasks, the amount of work that needs to get done, and the estimated time it takes to accomplish each task on the to-do list.
More often than not, multitasking is best if there are several tasks involved, and if a considerable number of them requires time to complete. Single tasking is ideal for situations when there are one or more tasks involved, and if most of them only take a small time to finish. It also works when the resources needed to finish one task are unavailable. In which case, it is better to concentrate your efforts on a task with available resources. Either way, as long as you efficiently manage your time and do some strategizing, you will be able to get the desired outcome.