Author Dave Crenshaw likens multitasking to a cardinal sin. In fact, he sees it in such a poor light that he doesn't even use the word. Instead, he prefers "switch-tasking". By switch-tasking, Crenshaw explains that most people do one thing and then do another. They're not really doing two things at the same time, but switching back and forth between the two.
This all made sense to me, as a GTD practitioner who tries to do one thing at a time. My kids will even roll their eyes and say, "We know Dad, one thing at a time!" Hey, just trying to spread a little bit of productivity love.
What about when you do the dishes and listen to some music at the same time? Or when you listen to the radio and drive somewhere? Crenshaw calls this "background tasking", a process by which your brain can handle doing one thing and putting something else in the background. This was good news for me as I love to listen to books on tape on my way to work.
I highly recommend Crenshaw's book, especially for those who are fans of GTD / Getting Things Done. If you are also familiar with Pat Lencioni's books on leadership, you'll love The Myth of Multitasking.
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