Skip to main content
Scott's Blog

The Great Multitasking Hoax

By September 14, 2023September 24th, 2023No Comments

Hi All,

Here’s my daily newsletter navigating the crossroads of business, growth, and life.

If you enjoyed this piece….

  1. Subscribe to my DAILY SHORT newsletter or my WEEKLY LONG newsletter in your inbox.
  2. Connect with me on Twitter or YouTube.
  3. Join our free slack community.

Picture this: Dave, a modern-day professional, immerses himself in the hustle and bustle of daily tasks, darting from one activity to another, each demanding a slice of his fragmented attention.

Hold on, scratch that.

Let’s not romanticize the gritty reality of multitasking. It’s not an art, it’s not a skill. It’s a scientifically documented pitfall.

Let’s talk facts.

According to a study from the University of London, multitasking can drop your IQ as much as a night without sleep. That’s not a badge of honour, that’s a red flag waving vehemently, screaming for attention.

Here’s another: a report published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology highlights that multitasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40%. That’s not just a dip, it’s a cliff, a dangerous drop into the abyss of inefficiency.

Think of your brain as a computer processor. When you overload it with too many programs running simultaneously, what happens? It slows down, lags, and sometimes crashes. The human brain, despite its complexity, operates on a similar principle.

We are not built for simultaneous processing. We are built for focus, for dedicated engagement with one task at a time.

But Dave is relentless, right?

He bounces from emails to meetings, from spreadsheets to Slack notifications, a relentless pinball in the arcade of modern business chaos.

Wrong move, Dave.

Because with each switch, Dave pays a tax, a “switching cost” that drains cognitive resources and time. It’s like driving with a foot on the brake – a surefire recipe for burnout and decreased output.

Enter The Myth of Multitasking by Dave Crenshaw. A book that lays it all out, the destructive facade of multitasking, urging us to focus, to hone in, to channel our energies singularly to not just do things right, but to do the right things, exceptionally well.

Steve Jobs didn’t rise to the pinnacle by scatter-gunning his focus. His genius lay in the relentless pursuit of perfection, in doing one thing, doing it extraordinarily well, and then moving on to the next.

So, here’s the hard-hitting reality: Multitasking is not a skill to be honed; it’s a mirage to be avoided.

In the realm of business and entrepreneurial excellence, it’s time to dismantle the multitasking myth, to discard it like the outdated relic it is.

We need a shift, a radical refocusing of our energies. Because the future belongs not to the busiest, but to the focused, to those who can navigate the noise and hone in on what truly matters.

Remember Dave?

Tomorrow, Dave opts for a change. He decides to embrace unitasking, giving each task his undivided attention, nurturing it to completion without the cacophony of modern-day distractions.

And as the day winds down, Dave realizes a profound truth: Multitasking was the greatest con of the modern business world.

No more divided focus, no more fractured efforts.

Do one thing, do it well, then move to the next.

In the quest for excellence, it’s not about juggling tasks but mastering focus. One focused step at a time, onto a path less chaotic and more productive.


More posts by

Leave a Reply

Skip to content