Multi or single tasking… that is the question.

The internet is a productivity tool but can also lead to distractions. But what is a distraction anyways? Is it defined as a positive or negative thing? What if you get distracted and discover something new…hmm. Often times if I’m searching something up, another idea pops into my brain so I open another tab and search something else so I won’t forget. According to the video, to be fully present on the internet at any given time, poses as a difficult task. People can be fully consumed by technology and not be present in a moment speaking with colleagues or peers. Think back to what life was like without technology. Teachers were viewed as the knowledge keepers and we read books created by experts which passed down knowledge. Now, we have the internet where students have access to every form of information. I think that technology can be a distraction but it is really productive. If we are learning something in Social Studies, and a student asks a question I can’t answer, then I immediately say well let’s look it up as a class. It is an easily accessible source for me to share more knowledge with my students. This can also lead to empower students to want to discover new things and share it with their peers.

All this being said, I think there needs to be a balance. We cannot over rely on the internet but we also shouldn’t under utilize it. Teachers and parents need to communicate with their families about the important of using the internet for intended uses and having a balance so we don’t over use our technology. I love Apple’s new initiative for taking data on our Screen Time. My husband and I have been comparing our screen time and it has created interesting dialogue. In an article iOS 12: Getting to know Screen Time and stronger parental controls, and it breaks down what the new IOS has to offer. You can set limits to categories or limit your screen time with a specific app or category. There is also the ability to customize your settings from week to week. This data collection can show you if you are usually your phone productively (doing homework, replying to emails) or not (too much time spent on social media).

Image result for screen time ios settings

Adam spoke in his blog about how people will look at their phones instead of engaging in conversation. I find myself in the same position as him when it comes to talking with friends or family. It becomes more evident to me when I go on trips with people. This really indicates the amount of time spent on their phones because you are with them for longer periods of time, which can indicate phones can be distracting. This also highlights that perhaps people are hyper focused on all of “the things” they need to accomplish while not being present in the moment. Perhaps just as the video stated we should begin to try “Single Tasking”. So in the end, what is better? Single tasking or Mulitasking…

Image result for multitasking gif

In an article, Why Single-Tasking is the New Multi-Tasking in 2018,it states that if we are trying to do more than one task, particularly a complex task, it will drastically impact our productivity. Whether you are working on two tasks that have a correlation, you are still sidetracking yourself which affects your productivity. Don’t we all want to be as productive as we can?

Here are three ways to get yourself back on track:

1. Try to schedule similar meetings or meetings on the same subject closer together. That way, the information is still fresh in your mind.

2. Organize similar categories of tasks and projects together on your schedule. Again, that keeps in in the same mindset for a longer period of time.

3. Did you know that email is one of the biggest distractions in your day? Schedule email time, in which you tackle and answer your emails in one chunk of time.

I think I can be an effective multi tasker, but in the end perhaps it is detrimental…what are your thoughts?

7 thoughts on “Multi or single tasking… that is the question.

  1. Kyla, I like your suggestions to help get back on track.

    For me, things that work well are:

    1. Making lists of tasks to accomplish.
    2. Using the reminder application on my phone.
    3. Printing the serious things I need to read. (I know this is low tech and perhaps a little bad for the environment, but it help me get the reading done. In addition, I find inputs into my mind easier when words are read from paper. Highlighting and annotating with a pencil is an excellent exercise that simulates deeper thought and analysis in my case.)

    Thanks for the post!


  2. I really like your questions in the beginning that distractions may be good. It’s a way to collect infromation and learn new things. Your suggestions at the end are helpful. Categorizing tasks would be a great idea! A combination of unitasking and multitasking!


  3. Pingback: My Blog Response to Productivity Suites and Multitasking | Haiming Li's blog

  4. Great post, Kyla! You got me thinking about the number of distractions that we create for ourselves while using online productivity tools. I often find, like you had stated, that I become distracted by another idea that I begin to look up while working on a project. When I am finished with that idea, however, I often find that I tend to lose the thought process for the other idea I was working on previous. There has got to be some sort of connection to short-term memory and how multitasking affects our recall ability with so many other stimuli open at the same time.


  5. I think the key word in this is balance! Everything is great when we can find a balance. But I also feel like that balance will be very different for each person. Teaching students how to use the tools but also how to find a healthy balance that allows them to still use the tools but be productive is key!
    Great post!


  6. Pingback: Internet – Distraction or Necessity? – The Musings of Moffatt


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