Not a long time ago there was a myth that most successful persons are the one who can do several thing or pursue several goals at time. This theory was (and unfortunately still is) strong enough that in all the small and medium business who want to go far in a short time became the main recruitment parameter.
Of course I was not immune to that ether, I don’t remember a time which I concentrate on one goal or trying to do just one thing.
But today if you google “ multi-tasking” in project management or working methods ( after a lots of papers on software engineering and coding) you will see no one is encouraging you to be a multi-task machine.
If you read History and notice on society behavior on this matter you will find out that back then single-tasking was include majority ( in some cases even entire) of community. So when human being start to try multi-tasking and the myth begin?
The research shows in began with industrial revolution and as the technology grows the needs for multi-tasking grow with it.
Scientist ran a lots of research and examination since 1965 about all the aspects of multi-tasking. How the brain will react on multi-tasking? How it will affect our results? Is there any difference between men and women on the results? And etc.
Ms. A.Spink, Mr. C.Cole and Ms. M.Waller in 3rd chapter of their book try to answer one of the core questions:
Is multitasking a negative or positive side effect of the advance of communication technology?
As they pursue the research on several fields of study on multi-tasking. They found out that multi-tasking is beneficial only in a few case in their examinations (like Pilots that flying the jet and also reading safety alarm at the same time) and in conclusion it has negative consequences in our performances. They also found out that because we normally switch between tasks in multi-tasking, it will decrease our efficiency too.
In other hand you may ask if we know that is not good then why we do it in daily basis? Mr. J.R.Finley, Mr. A.S.Benjamin and Mr. J.S.McCarley in their paper (“Metacognition of Multitasking: How Well Do We Predict the Costs of Divided Attention?”) try to explain why people are tend to multi-tasking even when they know it is not a good choice. They run a case study in normal community and measured how people estimate the cost of multi-tasking. The study shows in most cases that people under estimate the costs, and one of the main reasons is we believe we better than the others.
I can imagine most of you see the “Game of Thrones “ series or reed their books, the spark that changed me (from a person whom I was hardly trying to be, to the one whom today I owe my recent success to him) was the “Hodor” character (May he rest in peace).
Hodor is the spirit of “single-tasking”. The character that only focused on one and only one goal and manage to do it perfectly. Hodor was like a pinch for me to wake up and think how exceptional was he, the only one that could do his job 100 percent completed in entire story (really think about it). Hodor’s ending however tragic but it was meaning of “job well done”. So just remember:
When our success train leave the station, it only could reach one direct destination