Multitasking? A False Truth about Work Productivity

Multitasking? A False Truth about Work Productivity

According to a recent study, employees who pride themselves on being above average for multitasking capabilities are actually the very worst to carry out their duties efficiently.

This would happen, trivially, for a deficit of attention used in the main activity of which the employee is dealing and distraction from other activities defined “satellite“.

The Results of the Study

The study was performed on a sample of 310 students of Psychology, University of Utah, through questionnaires drawn up to measure the actual ability to perform multiple functions, the perception of their multitasking skills, the use of mobile phones while driving , the use of many electronic devices at the same time and the detection of personality traits.

The main findings were:

(1) The most capable people in the preparation of multi-tasking are not the people who engage simultaneously in multiple tasks because, although aware of their abilities, they know better than focusing on one task at a time get the effectiveness of results.

(2) The perception of multitask people talking or using your phone while driving is inflated compared to the actual capacity to perform multiple functions at the same time, in fact as many as 70% of participants thought to be above average multi-tasking, that is statistically impossible.

(3) Individuals with high levels of impulsivity and thrill-seeking ones turn out to be more confident and willing to multitask, although their performance is negative.
But there is an exception that must be emphasized: the people who use mobile phones while driving tend not to be impulsive, but they are aware of the mistake, in fact the use of the phone, even when you should not, is a deliberate choice.

Overwhelmed With Too Many Tasks

Why review the managerial theories on multitasking

You have to wonder at this point if the search of very inclined people adept at multi-tasking is not a myth to dispel.

Are we are sure that this is an essential skill for entrepreneurs or it is just a fascinating phenomenon but capable of destroying productivity?

Research data have demonstrated that multitasking people actually have difficulty focusing on one task at a time, as they are so involved in secondary tasks mainly because they are bored and devoting himself to several things at the same time look for new motivation.

If you work in a large organization you have probably noticed how your colleagues whose fix objectives are organized to achieve them and what are the results actually achieved in the end.

Even for those who are looking for work and in their Curriculum Vitae describes “adept at multitasking” should be aware of: finding the perfect candidate does not mean look for a person who thinks he is capable of doing several things at once, nor his real inclination to do so should be taken as a proof of professionalism.


l think that working at similar tasks is the best way to increase productivity.

It’s easy to understand : if you have to make a phone call, just regroup all the people you need to talk to and complete the job.

In few words, you just need to organize yourself in a system that can match with your characteristics in order to maximize your time.

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol at

Author: Erik Emanuelli

Hi! I am Erik Emanuelli : entrepreneur, traveler and blogger. You can follow me on Twitter, add me on Facebook or circle me on Google.

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  1. I can’t agree more Eric, multitasking is really the main assassin of productivity. I’m talking based on personal experience. The best thing is to always focus on one task at a time that way, you will discover how productive you are. Thanks for sharing this with the bizsugar community.


    Post a Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your experience, here, Val.
      Your visit is much appreciated! 🙂

      Post a Reply
  2. It depends upon the personality of a particular person. Women has a great percentage of effectiveness in multitasking job since they got more endurance than men. Men always want to have a focus on one job.

    Post a Reply
  3. When people engage in multitasking they are not using their time efficiently. I think if people just focus on one task at a time they can get it done quicker and more productively than by focusing on many tasks at once. Multitasking reduces productivity and time efficiency. I used to multitask a lot, but over the past year have been only focusing on one task at a time in order to increase my productivity and use my time more efficiently.

    Post a Reply
    • That’s the way to increase productivity.
      If you focus on one thing to do, then you can finish it sooner, and in the best way.
      If you engage in more tasks, you can lose your concentration and dissipate energies.

      Thanks for sharing your point of view, Denis.

      Post a Reply
  4. First off, I think women are naturally more prone to multitasking than men. Being programmed to care for a child requires the ability to multitask.

    Post a Reply

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