Way To Go for Greater Productivity: Multitasking Or Uni-tasking?

If you are the guy who while browsing has thirty tabs open, is trying to proofread a proposal he would forward to a client, is taking a call while at it and is counting the number of days remaining before a deadline should be met, all at the same time, maybe you should pay more attention to this.

There’s been a whole lot of conflicting perspectives, especially from leading career authorities as to what the ideal employee’s attitude should be to the many tasks he or she faces each and every day in the office. While some have taken sides with the school of thought that agrees that an employee should face a particular task and concentrate on it without distraction at every given point in time, the other has completely taken the opposite direction, arguing that it is not possible to completely concentrate on a particular task in the normal workplace without other things interfering.

Those of us who are conversant with smartphones like Blackberry, Iphones and the likes can bear me witness that after using those for a while, multitasking would come to you naturally, especially if you are an active user of those devices. While this tendency has its own go-getter advantages, it has its obvious flaws and consequences.

For the other school of thought, the ideal employee is one who should attend to one task at every given point in time. The employee, they believe should start his day with an already written down list of tasks to be completed based on priorities. He or she is not expected to be handling any two things simultaneously and is expected to concentrate on whatever he is doing.

The Present Day Workplace

While in theory, it is possible to have a workplace devoid of all forms of distractions, the present-day workplace hardly conforms to this mold; with the phone ringing every now and then, the boss frequently asking to see you and the many meetings. Many workplaces may, while many others may not.


The fact that the average workplace does not conform to the ideal workplace does not stop the employer from expecting optimum production levels from every single employee, no matter how little they may be earning. Research has also shown that Unitasking employees achieve more than those that multitask. An employee should be organized; he or she should have a to-do list that is tailored with emphasis on priorities which should be followed judiciously.

Yes the phone will ring while you are busy and trust me, you are mandated to take the calls, the e-mails would keep rolling in, your colleagues would come in to discuss the projects you guys are working on together and would take their own slice of your time by simply asking your opinion on something and the boss could suddenly drop by and ask you to get ready to accompany him to a presentation taking place in an hour without prior information, but the truth still remains that the guy who has clearly set goals to achieve for the day and faces them squarely one after the without allowing the incessant distractions in the workplace would eventually be more productive than the guy who is busy fighting with the wind, trying his hands on everything that comes his way.

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One Comment

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