November 2, 2006
Multitaskers!One thing that gets on my nerves is so-called multitaskers. Invariably they're people who lack the ability to focus on one thing at a time. A great example of a multitasker is a one-man band. Some guy straps a drum to his chest, a mouth organ to his face, cymbals between his knees and a guitar around his neck and proceeds to play them all very badly at the same time. He might just squeeze out a recognisable rendition of "When The Saints Go Marching In", but don't ask for a concert-standard performance of Stravinsky's "L'Histoire Du Soldat", because it ain't gonna happen.
Some jobs require total focus and our complete attention. You cannot complete a degree-level mathematics exam paper and answer the phone at the same time. Well, I suppose in reality you can - just badly. And you can't write software and do other stuff at the same time. You can't be writing software and doing your expenses and putting together a presentation for next week's management briefing and explaining the Visitor pattern to the guy sitting opposite you all at the same time. Well, again, I suppose you could - but very, very badly.
Multitasking is for people who are happy to do a bad job of lots of stuff rather than a good job of one thing. If you want a job done badly, give it to a multitasker.
Posted 12 years, 6 months ago on November 2, 2006