What Works Better Than Multi-Tasking

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October 12, 2011


Interview with Jonathan Fields, author of the book Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance




Mike Carruthers:
In the desire to get more done multi-tasking has become the norm.


Jonathan Fields:
What’s the old saying, “If you want to get something done give it to a busy person.” What the modern brain research shows us is that in fact multi-tasking is a complete myth – our brain doesn’t function that way.

Jonathan Fields

Jonathan Fields, author of the book Uncertainty, says even when you think your multi-tasking you’re really only doing one thing at a time.


Our brain actually isn’t capable of simultaneously processing all these things at once. We’re switching between them so quickly we think that we’re processing them at once – but there’s a couple of problems with that – 1 there’s a ramping cost every time we switch. So if we’re 100 or 200 or 500 times between small different tasks all day long the brain has to kind of re-ramp for that next task. So while we feel like we’re busy all day we actually lose massive amounts of creativity and productivity to that ramping cost, very often hours a day without really realizing it.


So since multi-tasking doesn’t work Jonathan recommends you instead deliberately try to single-task.


Rather than do a million things at once allocate your energy very intensely, your attention to 1 thing at a time and you’ll notice a very strong change, not only in how much you get done, but how creative you are – how well you solve problems and also how much more at ease you feel. 


To hear the complete unedited interview, click here



  • Length: 1:44 minutes (1.58 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
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