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The Myth of Multitasking: How "Doing It All" Gets Nothing Done Hardcover – August 18, 2008
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From School Library Journal
The growth of email and text messages, among other innovations, has made time management at work more of a challenge. Keeping up with all of this simultaneous communication can become counterproductive. Business coach Crenshaw (founder, Fresh Juice Strategy) addresses the myths about multitasking and argues that it can in fact cost valuable time to employees. Crenshaw frames his book in the form of a fictional case study: "Phil," a consultant, is about to meet with the manager of retail clothing chain "GreenGarb: Clothes Mother Nature Intended" about improving employees' time management skills. Crenshaw's point is that the notion of multitasking is a false construct that costs both time and money. In fact, employees are "switch tasking" (switching back and forth between two or more tasks). Crenshaw claims that "background tasking" (doing two or more tasks, with only one of them requiring mental effort) could be more efficient and effective. Currently, employees lose time owing to interruptions by coworkers, distractions from new technologies, lack of attention to colleagues when they are speaking, and juggling home and work. The author also provides exercises for employees to measure their efficiency and effective use of time. Bibliographic citations are included, but a glossary would have been helpful. Overall, readable and thought-provoking; recommended for public and academic libraries.—Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ., Jamaica, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"This little book was both a pleasure to read and offered some very practical advice in the form of a modern day fable." (Oliver Starr, Editor, Getting Things Done Times)
"Are you a master of juggling e-mail, voice mail, cell-phone calls and the like? No, you're not, says this slim fable-cum-manifesto against multitasking. The author, a business coach, gently ridicules the idea that anyone can concentrate on two things at the same time." (Andrea Sachs, Senior Reporter, Time Magazine, November 2, 2008)
"This simple yet powerful book shows clearly why multitasking is, in fact, a lie that wastes time and costs money. Far from being efficient, multitasking actually damages productivity and relationships at work and at home." (businessskillbooks.blogspot.com, November 24, 2008)
"I applaud Crenshaw for taking on a popular buzzword and small-scale plague not only in business life, but also our day-to-day world. Multitasking is indeed a myth. I would be tempted to be more vigorous in my rhetoric and say that multitasking is a fraud and a thief." (businesscoach.us.com, November 24, 2008)
"Crenshaw's on a mission to reduce distractions, interruptions, and fire-fighting at work, and create environments that let employees see through tasks with their full attention before moving onto the next thing." (blumerlamotte.blogspot.com, October 13, 2008)
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Top Customer Reviews
Also, I highly advise this read for every manager and anyone like mean who is involved in process or performance improvement.
No it is not a generational thing as our brain does not evolve that quickly and, sorry ladies, there is no evidence, other than urban myth anecdotal evidence, that women can multitask and men cannot. To do two things at once is to do both things poorly.
Thank you, Dave, for sharing this story and for all the great exercises in the book which can help professionals, like my clients, understand that multi-tasking is such a lie and how to go about changing it to improve their productivity at work and, ultimately, their lives.