I’ve always been the consummate multi-tasker. In my school years, I watched TV or listened to music while I did my homework and talked on the phone with friends. Now, I speak with work colleagues or conduct conference calls while I write emails or finalize project details.
My husband, a writer who requires absolute mono-focus, marvels at the way my brain works. But I’ve begun to wonder whether the ability to multi-task is a false talent. After all, my husband seems to have more free time than I do, and he’s certainly more relaxed.
I’ve begun to realize that multi-tasking means I always feel rushed and my day is stressful. I find myself concerned that I’ve missed important details. I’m constantly checking and re-checking my work to fix errors that occur because I’m doing several things at once rather than focusing on the task at hand.
Ultimately, I’m getting things done and completing work, but am I delivering my best work? And is this the best way to get my work accomplished? I’m not sure. I think I may be a victim of my past multi-tasking successes. Are you?
Cynthia Leverich is Director of Global Business Development for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.