Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Analyst Calls Multitasking Productivity a Myth

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Analyst Calls Multitasking Productivity a Myth

Article excerpt

People at the office like to think they are multitasking, but the fact is our brains are hard-wired to do one thing at time, said Clifton Gray, a senior development analyst at Oneok Corp.

Gray addressed more than 200 accountants during the eighth- annual Oil and Gas Accounting Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Tulsa last month, focusing on the myth of multitasking.

On Monday, he said he's made the presentation at several conferences at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Langston University and other places over the past two years. He estimated that thousands of people have heard the topic.

"Many of us believe that it is possible to do more than one thing at a time," Gray said. "After all, it is possible to walk and chew gum."

The reality is that multitasking is really switching back and forth from one task to another, he said.

"Our brain is not wired to do more than one thing at a time," Gray said.

Yet, offices and schools actually encourage multitasking, he said.

Citing author John Medina in the book Brain Rules, Gray said people can walk into any office and see people sending emails, answering their phones, instant messaging and viewing MySpace.

"Research shows your error rate goes up 50 percent and it takes you twice as long to do things," Gray said, citing Medina.

Joseph McIntyre, regional vice president for Robert Half Technology in Oklahoma City, suggested that employees make themselves aware of rules in the office regarding the Internet.

"The rule is moderation," McIntyre said. "Companies monitor Internet usage and social media sites and performing nonwork- related tasks."

Companies do have policies, but more and more are allowing some time on the Internet for personal use, McIntyre said.

"They are flexible as they know that we are in a Web generation and that is how we communicate and, now, shop more and more," he said, "as long as it is not excessive and not a complete distraction from what you should be doing. Make sure you are not taking too much Internet bandwidth during peak work times. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.