This is currently one of the most-read articles in the Japan Times. It’s a recommended read. Check it out!
Personally, I buck the trend and have passionately been against multi-tasking for many years. My wife frequently reminds me:
Oh yes, you don’t do multi-tasking do you?
Let me share some of my own experiences.
When I was in my mid-thirties I was European General Manager of an US engineering multi-national. The CFO of the group believed that you could only do one important thing at a time. I took this on board and stubbornly stuck to the principle. It often brought me into confrontation with colleagues who demanded that I keep a half a dozen balls in the air.
This year, at the age of sixty-seven, I started to question whether I was experiencing memory slippage and a slower brain functioning. So a couple of months ago, I signed up to Luminosity.com and started exercising my brain each day. I practice the following six sorts of games each day, competing against both myself and my peer age group:
When I started with Luminosity, I was a bit depressed how poorly I compared to my peers. Anyway, within a month I was in the top-quartile for problem-solving and doing pretty well across the board.
In my case my Luminosity score improvement was a function of extreme concentration and closing my mind to all exogenous variables and distractions. So once again, for me, focusing on one-thing-at-a-time was paying rich dividends.
Also this year, I restarted speaking foreign languages again using the web, networking using conversationexchange.com. Again speaking foreign languages forces me to focus and concentrate.
So after thirty years of being against multi-tasking, I’m stepping up my concentration on one-thing-at-a-time.