The Cons of Multitasking

3 years ago  •  By  •  2 Comments

What do you get when you mix 30 clients who have 7 projects each, and each project has 10 steps that should be executed by team of 4 creatives who happen to all be related? Well, sometimes you get finished products that totally nail it and other times you get a big, fat #fail.

The only thing that keeps Braizen on track and kicking out quality work is knowing our limitations when it comes to multitasking, specifically being aware of when it’s an acute disadvantage to both us and our clients.

In short: Multitasking isn’t our secret weapon. I know. We hear your audible gasp from here.

Instead of using multitasking to complete client projects with kick-ass Braizen perfection, we take a more systematic, diligent approach. Our secret weapon is effective communication, not multitasking and this applies to communication with our clients and within our own team.

Design projects are complicated, layered little beasts. And, if communication as a design team isn’t on point, you’ll most likely miss the mark. Our quick piece of advice is to take the focus off multitasking and put it on improving your communication systems. Some of our most-loved pieces of technology that help our team are Basecamp, 17Hats and Streak.

So, what gives multitasking a bad name (in our humble opinion)? Here are our top 5 justifications:

  1. Multitasking will give you grey hair. That’s right people, grey hair. Why? Because humans (read: mostly men) are inherently bad at multitasking and therefore trying to use it as a productivity technique will make you feel stressed. Cue: Grey Hair.
  2. Multitasking will hurt your long-term business goals. Sure, multitasking the shit out of a random Wednesday might have you feeling like you are rocking small business ownership. But, let’s get real. There are no amount of lattes that will help you keep up that intensity in the long run. The result? Your short-term goals seem in check, but your long-term goals suffer. Multitasking = Scattered. Scattered ≠ Long-Term Success.
  3. Multitasking will (eventually) lose you business. This might seem extreme, but we are trying to make a point here people! Studies show that people who multitask typically start to lose focus on the task at hand toward the end, because they are mentally gearing up for the next task. So, when this happens, your final product is likely to suffer. And, clients ain’t down with that. Keep doing this and they are surely going to go elsewhere.
  4. Multitasking is going to make your family very very unhappy. Business owners who multitask are often described as reactive. They might be working on a project, and then an email comes through that distracts them. At the end of your work day, you won’t feel done and ready to dedicate your time to your family. What you’ll have is a bunch of half-assed, unfinished tasks and a really pissed off wife/husband/kid/cat. And, we wouldn’t wish that on our worst enemy.
  5. Multitasking results in time lost, not time gained. For all you multi-taskers out there who wear the badge proudly (read: mostly women), we see you! We honor you and your abilities! But…we are also here to tell you that you’ve probably lost more than 30% of the time you would’ve gained by being fully dedicated to one task at a time. As a business owner, you need to embrace the philosophy that time is money. Because it is. Learning how to focus and execute tasks on time (and with perfection) will gain you more clients which translates into more money.

Now, before you get all “Braizen thinks they know better than me” on us….just know that we are one of you. We’ve used multitasking to our short-term advantage before, just as we’ve learned to accept that it isn’t a tactic that we can use long-term. And for that, our clients thank us!

Comments 2

  1. As a freelance designer (and woman!), I needed to hear that. Thank you.
    • Raquel Wilson
      Us, too, Jane! Glad you find it helpful. Keep kicking ass out there.

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