Skip to navigationSkip to content
Close

Are you an exceptional multitasker—or are you just lying to yourself? Just 2-3% of the population is truly capable of doing multiple things at once without seeing a dip in performance. The good news is that some scientists also believe there are still opportunities for improvement for the rest of us. ✦

Read more on Quartz

Featured contributions

  • I took the online quiz by Dr. David Strayer just now, and not to brag my scores & accuracy came up as top 2%. I do have a complaint about the quiz game design, though. It is repetitive and dull, and in an office environment where you are constantly afraid to be caught by your colleagues for playing games

    I took the online quiz by Dr. David Strayer just now, and not to brag my scores & accuracy came up as top 2%. I do have a complaint about the quiz game design, though. It is repetitive and dull, and in an office environment where you are constantly afraid to be caught by your colleagues for playing games instead of doing work, it is too long to stay focus! Oh, wait, our work is playing games! :)

    Jokes aside, I always consider myself suck in multitasking. My entire life training from early childhood is against multitasking. Being a professional chess player requires absolute undivided attention for hours, and that certainly has left an irremovable scar on me.

    Until today, I feel discomfort and refuse to multitask even when it only involves trivial tasks such as replying short messages. My fiance often makes fun of me because I whisper out things simultaneously while typing and make whatever I write no secret to the people around me. Apparently, I am doing it right now! Because all my instruments - brain, fingers, lips, eyes...have to work together on 1 single task a time!

    However, given my score, I might belong to the group of people who are good at multitasking. I assume it gives me some credits to say that - the ability of multitasking is highly overrated and even harmful.

    You see, the importance of our work has absolutely nothing to do with the number of the tasks that we complete, but the quality of very few significant ones. One's success is irrelevant to how busy one is but how we make the right choice on 1 or 2 most significant decisions in life. Multitasking greatly compromises the depth of our focus and thinking, therefore the quality of our strategic decision-making.

    'There are so many people working so hard and achieving so little' said by Andrew Grove, the former CEO of Intel.

    So why multitasking even when that skill can be improved?