Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Priority Tasking Not Multitasking

Multitasking.  I don't believe in it.  You can't do two things at once.  Its impossible.  I wise person once said:

"The man who chases two rabbits, catches neither", Confucius.

You can't chase two rabbits because they will run in opposite directions.  When a lion hunts it picks out one zebra to chase.  (That's why zebras have stripes.  To make them blend together and make it hard to pick out just one.)  The lion focuses on that one zebra and chases that one zebra, even if another crosses her path.

I am amazed at the number of job descriptions that are looking for people who are good multitaskers.  They might as well include in the job requirements "Must be able to chase two rabbits".  Notice it says chase two rabbits and not catch two rabbits.

People who are good multitaskers are often good at the chase.  They look like they are very busy running around chasing rabbits.  But they never catch any (They never finish anything).  I'd rather work with someone who can catch rabbits, not just chase them.

You can catch both rabbits, but you have to focus on them one at a time.  Once you have caught and caged the first one, you can then focus on the second one.  Maybe this could be called sequential tasking or priority tasking.  But not multitasking.

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