By Sam Kannappan Does multitasking increase efficiency? I think multitasking does not result in significant improvement. But on the other hand it is even dangerous. The term multitasking came from the computer industry. Only one task is active at a time. But tasks are rotated through many times in a short time in single core microprocessors. In Human multitasking, people take longer to complete tasks and are predisposed to error. The brain is compelled to restart and refocus. If both tasks require selecting and producing actions, severe interference occurs. Action planning represents a “bottleneck.” The human brain can only perform one task at a time. Lapse of attention or absent mindedness can result from multitasking. If the above is true, then why do we believe that people who multitask are able and efficient. It is possible to switch between simple non-competing tasks and have minimum disruption. Time management also helps to do any task efficiently. Benefits of time management is sometimes misunderstood to be from multitasking. Question: There was a chess master once who would play 10 different players simultaneously, and win every time. Was he “Multitasking” or engaging in “time management?” Sam Kannappan, Consulting Engineer
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