Friday, October 19, 2012

Multitasking in life: A good idea ?

From the beginning of my research life, I have been working on multiple tasks at the same time. At the same time means I had to interchangeably do several tasks in a day without completely focusing on a specific one for a long time. However sometimes I had to involve in a single work since there were no any other task to be done. The stressful workload I'm handling these days made my mind to review my way of working and reorganise it if necessary.

    I have been thoroughly reviewing research papers and different documents for research purposes. Now I have an important requirement to review my life and my working pattern in a similar way to find any defects of it. The experiences of last few weeks showed me some important issue in multitasking. I have so many important works to be done and unfortunately almost all of them seems need high priority. Moreover each of those tasks takes a significant amount of time and effort. I did up to now and I will do my best in the future to make all those works done simultaneously but I have a bad feeling that doing things in this way does not result in a good quality work.

    When comparing to the days where I did one important task a day, doing things interchangeably seems a very bad idea. Unlike computers, my mind is not very good at multitasking. When I switch between multiple tasks it seems I'm not making any good progress in each of the tasks. I have a feeling that if I do all these works in a sequential manner I could complete all the works before completing things by doing parallel even with a much more good quality. This is because when I involve in a single work for a longer time I get very good amount of time to think about it. Fresh ideas and innovation fills my mind making the work really successful. However when doing things parallel, before my mind settle down on one work I have to switch the task. Therefore it's hard to keep the focus on what I'm doing right now resulting in less quality work.

    OK, having the understanding about single tasking is better for me than multitasking, why do I still keep doing multiple tasks interchangeably everyday? This is the most important question. I don't have the control of my life completely. There are things I have the control and there are a lot more things which are out of my reach. Sometimes it seems I'm not very good at identifying things which I have my control. For example I usually hesitate to say 'No' to people and because of that I trap in works which I really don't have to do. However there are some works which are actually out of my control and therefore I have to do such works somehow. For example main research project works in our lab, my final year research project works and also other academic works like assignments, etc are out of my control. Therefore those works come into my 'To Do' list with higher priorities and I have to find some time slot for all those works in my busy schedule.

    This is really a problematic situation. Last few days I was so much stressed. Specially yesterday evening I could not figure out how I'm going to make any progress in my life in this way. Therefore yesterday when I went back to my boarding place I directly went to sleep without doing anything else. This morning I thought I should write down my situation because it helps when bringing the thoughts out from my mind and into some different form. So, that's what I did right now. I will find better ways to organise my works in particular and organise my life in general in the future from now on.


  1. It's like contiki man. We can't actually do it. So we think ourselves as multitaskers and and run them on switch cases inside a loop. Which eventually will drive us mad. :D