Multitasking is a Farce

I don’t multitask, well not if I want to get anything of any real substance done with my time. If I want to waste time then I have Twitter and MailPlane and Linkinus open just to make sure that I can get distracted (wait ‘multitask) as often as possible. I’m still surprised how much of the day can be wasted this way. I’m not the only one that thinks multitasking is bad.

Wrong, way wrong. “I, more than anybody I’ve ever met, do not believe in multitasking,” says Orman, 54. “I think it’s the absolute ruination of the perfection of a project.

Sure, Orman has the usual battery of electronic devices–in fact, she runs a paperless office but has strict rules for using her gadgets. “When I am writing, I don’t answer phones. I don’t care what else is going on,” she says. She has a cell phone but never leaves it on. “You can’t call me. I only call you. I think you have to stop thinking you are at everyone else’s beck and call.” Silence, she adds, is critical. “You cannot complete your thoughts with everything ringing.”

I actually use a Pomodoro timer during the day and turn off all the things that can cause distraction. I don’t even answer my phone during a Pomodoro (well the wife has a special ring and I answer that). I’ve never thought it was all that fair to bill a client for 25 minutes when you really spent 2 – 3 checking and replying to tweets, or sent a few IM’s or had your brain pulled off track by incoming email. Every time you stop and start a job you have to get your brain up to full speed again, so your client ends up paying for a more ‘up to speed’ time than time you’re at full speed.

If you’re not familiar with Pomodoro [this is an awesome book][pombook] on the subject. I’ll be reviewing it in the near future since I’v read it already.

[pombook]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1934356506/ref=as_li_ss_tl? ie=UTF8&tag=strugwithfait-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1934356506 “Pomodoro Technique Illustrated: Can You Focus – Really Focus – for 25 Minutes? (Pragmatic Life)”

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