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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Myth of Multitasking: How "Doing It All" Gets Nothing Done
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
"The Myth of Multi-tasking" is another business novel. This time about multi-tasking. My first response to this book was excitement. Finally, a new book on the subject of multi-tasking. I bet it will state all latest research, describe experiments done, check on the brain activity to physically prove multi-tasking is a myth etc etc. I was disappointed. None of the above is included in this book (ok, some quotes taken out of research) and instead it's an average story about a consultant helping a CEO.

The book describes the story of Phil who is called in my Helen for some reason. He convinces her that multi-tasking is not efficient (as she seemed to believe) and teaches her different ways of organizing her work so that she does not need to "switchtask" and becomes more effective. Of course, she believes the consultant, changes all her habits and her company and a happy end.

The book is easy to read. It's also small, you can read it in about an hour!! There is not much more than the above story in the book and some quotes from different research (of which some are actually interesting). One thing that annoyed me is that the author decided to rename "multi-tasking" to "switchtasking". I kept wondering why he couldn't call it simple "task switching" which is the common term for this.

The book didn't bother me. I got a couple of useful research quotes out of it and one interesting game to "prove" multitasking is inefficient. The book is small and therefore it might be easy to read. Don't expect much though. 3 stars.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As an owner of a growing business, my time is very precious. This book is a quick, enjoyable read and has already yielded a high ROI (Return On time Investment)! By following the simple principles outlined in this book, I have seen improvement in stress levels and productivity at work and home. We plan on purchasing extra copies and using them as a key part of our upcoming employee training.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a busy mother of three and manager of a family business, I've spent years feeling like there is not enough time in the day, and no possible way to do everything that needs to get done. I believed that if I wanted to get anywhere in life I had to be a master "multitasker," but I was stressed-out, spun-out, and I saw no end in sight.

Today, I have to say that The Myth of Multitasking has totally changed my life.

Reading this book was a complete eye opener for me. I've learned how to examine my day, and see just where I'm losing precious time. I have to say that I was initially shocked at how ineffective I was. I was not only spinning my wheels at work, I was doing my family a huge disservice by not giving them the complete attention they deserve. Admittedly, a lifetime's worth of bad habits are hard to break, but this short fable literally gave me more time for my family, my work, and my life.

Highly recommended for anyone, but especially moms who work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A great book for those of us who use technology "well" (or so you thought). The book makes an excellent case against allowing these tools to control the way we work. Principles from the book are actually helping me make good decisions. Having fewer irons in the fire at a given moment helps me better manage all the irons in the fire more generally in life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing guide to time and productivity management. It is in story format and a quick read. The book proves how many people today are so caught up in doing everything at the same time that they really are not effective at doing much at all.

As Dave guides us through a real life example of how multitasking has caused stress and low productivity, the reader can easily relate to his/her own life. It provides insight and solutions that can only be found in this one of a kind book. It literally has changed my life.

[...]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What a phenomenal book! I was having flashbacks to my first time with the certified time coach. If everyone can't have Dave in person, this is the next best thing. It's also a great refresher course for those of us who have employed his services. Five "thumbs up" and a must read for any business executive!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a fabulous book that everyone should read at least once. It takes an hour or two at the most.

It's written in story form (like "E-Myth" or "The One Minute Manager"). "Phil" is a business coach who is helping "Helen" regain control and organization in her business. He takes her through a series of exercises (included in the back of the book) to show how multitasking takes MORE time than focusing on one thing at a time, and that it damages productivity and-- worse--relationships. Then he gives her some exercises to help her out of her "multitasking".

The gist of the book is: there is no such thing as multitasking. Since our brain can only focus on one thing at a time, we either switch-task (switch our focus between two or more things rapidly) or background task (focus on one task while doing another that does not require focus--like talking on the phone while sweeping the floor). Background tasking is okay at appropriate times, but most of us fall prey to switch-tasking too often.

I'm a stay-at-home mom, and I still found this book very applicable. I sat down the same day I finished it and did some of the suggested exercises. I'm into my second week of living according to these ideas, and I can tell already that I get more done. Even better--I feel much more satisfied at the end of the day because I know all of my relationships have gotten the attention I intended for them to get.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book to bring things back to basics. I already knew that multi-tasking was not something that would really help me get more done and this book helped me realize why. Following this process and using the helpful worksheets brings focus back to your work and personal life. Easy to read and easy to understand why it is important to change.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Normally I can tell you how a book makes it onto my reading list - it was personally recommended to me, I know the author, I read a review of it, or in some cases a copy was sent to me by a publicist or a publishing house - hoping I will recommend it to you.

I can't tell you my personal back story for this book. I don't know how it made it on to my list, but I'm glad it did.

This short, small book is in the parable/business fiction genre. It tells the story of Helen, a harried CEO and Phil, her consultant. Through the story and with some exercises tools that our outlined in the back of the book so you can use them as well, Phil convinces Helen that multitasking is a myth - that as humans we really can't multitask at all.

I have long believed that to be true, and perhaps that is why the title intrigued me.

Whether you agree with the premise of the title, or are violently opposed; you should read it.

Have I solved all of my time management problems by reading this book? No, but I have ideas I am implementing that are making a difference.

I could share the key lessons from this book, but it would take away from your reading experience (which will be brief - the story itself is about 100 pages in a small format book).

Pick up a copy. Read it. Share it with others. Talk about it with them. And apply at least one of the key ideas.

It will be worth your time.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was of the "women can multitask, men cannot" mindset. This book has completely changed the way I do everything, everyday! By putting the basic principles into action I am a better BUSINESS OWNER, better MOM and better WIFE. I am able to devote complete attention to what I am doing RIGHT NOW without stressing about what I'm not getting done because I know that I have made time for the things that MATTER MOST and the things that I WANT TO DO. Multitasking IS a Myth and I am so grateful for how simply this book lays out the TRUTH!
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