The Myth of Multitasking (2024)

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In one of the many letters he wrote to his son in the 1740s, Lord Chesterfield offered the following advice: “There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.” To Chesterfield, singular focus was not merely a practical way to structure one’s time; it was a mark of intelligence. “This steady and undissipated attention to one object, is a sure mark of a superior genius; as hurry, bustle, and agitation, are the never-failing symptoms of a weak and frivolous mind.”

In modern times, hurry, bustle, and agitation have become a regular way of life for many people — so much so that we have embraced a word to describe our efforts to respond to the many pressing demands on our time: multitasking. Used for decades to describe the parallel processing abilities of computers, multitasking is now shorthand for the human attempt to do simultaneously as many things as possible, as quickly as possible, preferably marshalling the power of as many technologies as possible.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, one sensed a kind of exuberance about the possibilities of multitasking. Advertisements for new electronic gadgets — particularly the first generation of handheld digital devices — celebrated the notion of using technology to accomplish several things at once. The word multitasking began appearing in the “skills” sections of résumés, as office workers restyled themselves as high-tech, high-performing team players. “We have always multitasked — inability to walk and chew gum is a time-honored cause for derision — but never so intensely or self-consciously as now,” James Gleick wrote in his 1999 book Faster. “We are multitasking connoisseurs — experts in crowding, pressing, packing, and overlapping distinct activities in our all-too-finite moments.” An article in the New York Times Magazine in 2001 asked, “Who can remember life before multitasking? These days we all do it.” The article offered advice on “How to Multitask” with suggestions about giving your brain’s “multitasking hot spot” an appropriate workout.

But more recently, challenges to the ethos of multitasking have begun to emerge. Numerous studies have shown the sometimes-fatal danger of using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving, for example, and several states have now made that particular form of multitasking illegal. In the business world, where concerns about time-management are perennial, warnings about workplace distractions spawned by a multitasking culture are on the rise. In 2005, the BBC reported on a research study, funded by Hewlett-Packard and conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, that found, “Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.” The psychologist who led the study called this new “infomania” a serious threat to workplace productivity. One of the Harvard Business Review’s “Breakthrough Ideas” for 2007 was Linda Stone’s notion of “continuous partial attention,” which might be understood as a subspecies of multitasking: using mobile computing power and the Internet, we are “constantly scanning for opportunities and staying on top of contacts, events, and activities in an effort to miss nothing.”

Dr. Edward Hallowell, a Massachusetts-based psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and has written a book with the self-explanatory title CrazyBusy, has been offering therapies to combat extreme multitasking for years; in his book he calls multitasking a “mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously.” In a 2005 article, he described a new condition, “Attention Deficit Trait,” which he claims is rampant in the business world. ADT is “purely a response to the hyperkinetic environment in which we live,” writes Hallowell, and its hallmark symptoms mimic those of ADD. “Never in history has the human brain been asked to track so many data points,” Hallowell argues, and this challenge “can be controlled only by creatively engineering one’s environment and one’s emotional and physical health.” Limiting multitasking is essential. Best-selling business advice author Timothy Ferriss also extols the virtues of “single-tasking” in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek.

Multitasking might also be taking a toll on the economy. One study by researchers at the University of California at Irvine monitored interruptions among office workers; they found that workers took an average of twenty-five minutes to recover from interruptions such as phone calls or answering e-mail and return to their original task. Discussing multitasking with the New York Times in 2007, Jonathan B. Spira, an analyst at the business research firm Basex, estimated that extreme multitasking — information overload — costs the U.S. economy $650 billion a year in lost productivity.

To better understand the multitasking phenomenon, neurologists and psychologists have studied the workings of the brain. In 1999, Jordan Grafman, chief of cognitive neuroscience at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (part of the National Institutes of Health), used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans to determine that when people engage in “task-switching” — that is, multitasking behavior — the flow of blood increases to a region of the frontal cortex called Brodmann area 10. (The flow of blood to particular regions of the brain is taken as a proxy indication of activity in those regions.) “This is presumably the last part of the brain to evolve, the most mysterious and exciting part,” Grafman told the New York Times in 2001 — adding, with a touch of hyperbole, “It’s what makes us most human.”

It is also what makes multitasking a poor long-term strategy for learning. Other studies, such as those performed by psychologist René Marois of Vanderbilt University, have used fMRI to demonstrate the brain’s response to handling multiple tasks. Marois found evidence of a “response selection bottleneck” that occurs when the brain is forced to respond to several stimuli at once. As a result, task-switching leads to time lost as the brain determines which task to perform. Psychologist David Meyer at the University of Michigan believes that rather than a bottleneck in the brain, a process of “adaptive executive control” takes place, which “schedules task processes appropriately to obey instructions about their relative priorities and serial order,” as he described to the New Scientist. Unlike many other researchers who study multitasking, Meyer is optimistic that, with training, the brain can learn to task-switch more effectively, and there is some evidence that certain simple tasks are amenable to such practice. But his research has also found that multitasking contributes to the release of stress hormones and adrenaline, which can cause long-term health problems if not controlled, and contributes to the loss of short-term memory.

In one recent study, Russell Poldrack, a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that “multitasking adversely affects how you learn. Even if you learn while multitasking, that learning is less flexible and more specialized, so you cannot retrieve the information as easily.” His research demonstrates that people use different areas of the brain for learning and storing new information when they are distracted: brain scans of people who are distracted or multitasking show activity in the striatum, a region of the brain involved in learning new skills; brain scans of people who are not distracted show activity in the hippocampus, a region involved in storing and recalling information. Discussing his research on National Public Radio recently, Poldrack warned, “We have to be aware that there is a cost to the way that our society is changing, that humans are not built to work this way. We’re really built to focus. And when we sort of force ourselves to multitask, we’re driving ourselves to perhaps be less efficient in the long run even though it sometimes feels like we’re being more efficient.”

If, as Poldrack concluded, “multitasking changes the way people learn,” what might this mean for today’s children and teens, raised with an excess of new entertainment and educational technology, and avidly multitasking at a young age? Poldrack calls this the “million-dollar question.” Media multitasking — that is, the simultaneous use of several different media, such as television, the Internet, video games, text messages, telephones, and e-mail — is clearly on the rise, as a 2006 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed: in 1999, only 16 percent of the time people spent using any of those media was spent on multiple media at once; by 2005, 26 percent of media time was spent multitasking. “I multitask every single second I am online,” confessed one study participant. “At this very moment I am watching TV, checking my e-mail every two minutes, reading a newsgroup about who shot JFK, burning some music to a CD, and writing this message.”

The Kaiser report noted several factors that increase the likelihood of media multitasking, including “having a computer and being able to see a television from it.” Also, “sensation-seeking” personality types are more likely to multitask, as are those living in “a highly TV-oriented household.” The picture that emerges of these pubescent multitasking mavens is of a generation of great technical facility and intelligence but of extreme impatience, unsatisfied with slowness and uncomfortable with silence: “I get bored if it’s not all going at once, because everything has gaps — waiting for a website to come up, commercials on TV, etc.” one participant said. The report concludes on a very peculiar note, perhaps intended to be optimistic: “In this media-heavy world, it is likely that brains that are more adept at media multitasking will be passed along and these changes will be naturally selected,” the report states. “After all, information is power, and if one can process more information all at once, perhaps one can be more powerful.” This is techno-social Darwinism, nature red in pixel and claw.

Other experts aren’t so sure. As neurologist Jordan Grafman told Time magazine: “Kids that are instant messaging while doing homework, playing games online and watching TV, I predict, aren’t going to do well in the long run.” “I think this generation of kids is guinea pigs,” educational psychologist Jane Healy told the San Francisco Chronicle; she worries that they might become adults who engage in “very quick but very shallow thinking.” Or, as the novelist Walter Kirn suggests in a deft essay in The Atlantic, we might be headed for an “Attention-Deficit Recession.”

Paying Attention

When we talk about multitasking, we are really talking about attention: the art of paying attention, the ability to shift our attention, and, more broadly, to exercise judgment about what objects are worthy of our attention. People who have achieved great things often credit for their success a finely honed skill for paying attention. When asked about his particular genius, Isaac Newton responded that if he had made any discoveries, it was “owing more to patient attention than to any other talent.”

William James, the great psychologist, wrote at length about the varieties of human attention. In The Principles of Psychology (1890), he outlined the differences among “sensorial attention,” “intellectual attention,” “passive attention,” and the like, and noted the “gray chaotic indiscriminateness” of the minds of people who were incapable of paying attention. James compared our stream of thought to a river, and his observations presaged the cognitive “bottlenecks” described later by neurologists: “On the whole easy simple flowing predominates in it, the drift of things is with the pull of gravity, and effortless attention is the rule,” he wrote. “But at intervals an obstruction, a set-back, a log-jam occurs, stops the current, creates an eddy, and makes things temporarily move the other way.”

To James, steady attention was thus the default condition of a mature mind, an ordinary state undone only by perturbation. To readers a century later, that placid portrayal may seem alien — as though depicting a bygone world. Instead, today’s multitasking adult may find something more familiar in James’s description of the youthful mind: an “extreme mobility of the attention” that “makes the child seem to belong less to himself than to every object which happens to catch his notice.” For some people, James noted, this challenge is never overcome; such people only get their work done “in the interstices of their mind-wandering.” Like Chesterfield, James believed that the transition from youthful distraction to mature attention was in large part the result of personal mastery and discipline — and so was illustrative of character. “The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again,” he wrote, “is the very root of judgment, character, and will.”

Today, our collective will to pay attention seems fairly weak. We require advice books to teach us how to avoid distraction. In the not-too-distant future we may even employ new devices to help us overcome the unintended attention deficits created by today’s gadgets. As one New York Times article recently suggested, “Further research could help create clever technology, like sensors or smart software that workers could instruct with their preferences and priorities to serve as a high tech ‘time nanny’ to ease the modern multitasker’s plight.” Perhaps we will all accept as a matter of course a computer governor — like the devices placed on engines so that people can’t drive cars beyond a certain speed. Our technological governors might prompt us with reminders to set mental limits when we try to do too much, too quickly, all at once.

Then again, perhaps we will simply adjust and come to accept what James called “acquired inattention.” E-mails pouring in, cell phones ringing, televisions blaring, podcasts streaming — all this may become background noise, like the “din of a foundry or factory” that James observed workers could scarcely avoid at first, but which eventually became just another part of their daily routine. For the younger generation of multitaskers, the great electronic din is an expected part of everyday life. And given what neuroscience and anecdotal evidence have shown us, this state of constant intentional self-distraction could well be of profound detriment to individual and cultural well-being. When people do their work only in the “interstices of their mind-wandering,” with crumbs of attention rationed out among many competing tasks, their culture may gain in information, but it will surely weaken in wisdom.

The Myth of Multitasking (2024)


Why multitasking is an illusion? ›

Our brains are wired to exert more focus and attention to complex tasks. But new research demonstrates that merely the perception of increased complexity is enough to trigger our brains to work harder. Your brain is a car, and the amount of effort it expends is the gas.

What does research say about multitasking? ›

A study by the University of London found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks, experienced an IQ score decline similar to those who have stayed up all night. Some of the multitasking men had their IQ drop 15 points, leaving them with the average IQ of an 8-year-old child.

Can human beings actually multitask? ›

One study found that just 2.5% of people are able to multitask effectively. For the rest of us, our attempts to do multiple activities at once aren't actually that.

Can you focus on 2 things at once? ›

The problem is that your brain is not hardwired to focus simultaneously on specific, day-to-day activities and more collective, long-term objectives. Neurological science has demonstrated that the human brain is incapable of focusing on two things at once.

Why multitasking is inefficient? ›

Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully. Research also shows that, in addition to slowing you down, multitasking lowers your IQ.

Does multitasking improve performance? ›

Multitasking might be an illusion, but it is a helpful one. A new study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that merely perceiving one or several activities as multitasking is enough to boost performance.

Is multitasking positive or negative? ›

A study. published by the Association for Psychological Science (APS) concluded that regardless of whether people are actually handling several tasks or not, the mere fact that they perceive this activity as multitasking has a positive effect on their performance.

What is multitasking in psychology? ›

Multitasking can take place when someone tries to perform two tasks simultaneously, switch . from one task to another, or perform two or more tasks in rapid succession. To determine the costs of this kind of mental "juggling," psychologists conduct task-switching experiments.

Does multitasking make you less productive? ›

Even switching back and forth from one task to another can create cognitive fatigue, causing us to become more burnt out and less productive over the course of the day. In some cases, multitasking can impact important relationships.

What does multitasking do to your brain? ›

When the brain tries to do two things at once, it divides and conquers, dedicating one-half of our gray matter to each task, new research shows. But forget about adding another mentally taxing task: The work also reveals that the brain can't effectively handle more than two complex, related activities at once.

Why does your brain do some things automatically? ›

Doing tasks automatically lets the brain concentrate on those tasks.

How many things can the human brain remember at once? ›

So, not all groups of four objects are created equal: The brain can indeed remember up to four things, but it does best when those things are spaced out into two on the right side and two on the left. Any more than two on one side, and working memory starts to break down.

Why are some people better at multitasking? ›

Many psychologists describe working memory as the ability to retain a specific amount of information while intervening with other information or tasks. Previous studies have suggested that working memory plays an important role in multitasking.

What is the correct way to multitask? ›

10 essential tips to help you multitask
  1. Set yourself realistic goals. Taking on too much at once can cause unnecessary stress and worry. ...
  2. Give yourself enough time to complete your goals. ...
  3. Write lists. ...
  4. Prioritise your tasks. ...
  5. Plan your week day-by-day. ...
  6. Group tasks together where possible. ...
  7. Work at a steady pace. ...
  8. Avoid distractions.

What causes people to multitask? ›

5) People are bored.

"Multitasking is the art of distracting yourself from two things you'd rather not be doing by doing them simultaneously." I think this is one reason why multitasking is so popular. We don't feel like doing that work, so we watch TV at the same time to make it seem less tedious.

Does multitasking cause dementia? ›

According to research conducted in 2021, multi-tasking could affect the information we memorise. The researchers found that too much multi-tasking caused pronounced lapses in memory and forgetfulness. The most pronounced effects were observed with working memory and long-term memory.

Can people with ADHD multitask? ›

Our results showed no impaired multitasking performance in adults with ADHD. However, they showed better mood and more motivation in the non-interleaving condition.

What are the disadvantages of multitasking? ›

What are the disadvantages of multitasking?
  • Multitasking affects your quality of work. ...
  • Multitasking can increase your stress. ...
  • Multitasking makes us less productive. ...
  • Multitasking kills focus. ...
  • Multitasking causes memory problems. ...
  • Multitasking leads to less interaction with living beings.
1 May 2022

What is the secret to successful multitasking? ›

Example: "The only secret to successful multitasking is prioritization. Multitasking is a combination of tasks. You break each task down into smaller tasks and set them into a priority sequence.

Is multitasking a skill? ›

Most professionals perform multiple tasks in their jobs, often at the same time, a process called multitasking. The ability to multitask is a valuable skill in many industries, as it increases productivity and saves time. Learning how to develop this ability can help you get a rewarding position or earn a promotion.

Does multitasking save time? ›

One common belief about multitasking is that it helps save time and effort as compared to doing different tasks separately. Truth is: when it comes down to it, multitasking simply comprises high-speed task switching. It takes more time to get tasks completed if you switch between them than if you do them one at a time.

Can multitasking cause memory loss? ›

Too much multitasking can interfere with both working memory and long-term memory. Research by Madore and colleagues found that heavier media multitasking is associated with attention lapses and forgetfulness.

Does multitasking increase stress? ›

Multitasking Increases Stress

Our brain is designed to concentrate on one task at a time. Now, due to the added pressure of switching from one task to another, the brain takes more time to do the tasks. This causes stress as the same tasks now take more time than what you would normally take to complete it.

How do I stop multitasking? ›

Ways to Stop Multitasking and Increase Productivity
  1. Get Enough Rest. ...
  2. Plan Your Day. ...
  3. Remove Everything From Your Desk and Screen Except for the Work You Are Doing. ...
  4. When at Your Desk, Do Work. ...
  5. Learn to Say No. ...
  6. Turn off Notifications on Your Computer. ...
  7. Find a Quiet Place to Do Your Most Important Work.
29 Jul 2022

What is the scientific term for multitasking? ›

The simplest experimental design used to investigate human multitasking is the so-called psychological refractory period effect. Here, people are asked to make separate responses to each of two stimuli presented close together in time.

Is multitasking a cognitive skill? ›

Multitasking is the ability to conduct two or more tasks at the same time both requiring attention and various advanced cognitive processes. All human action requires a series of associated brain functions in order to execute the task efficiently.

Is IQ related to productivity? ›

When IQ is normalized in conventional IQ points (UK mean =100, standard deviation = 15), one IQ point is associated with approximately 1% higher wages, but 6 to 7% higher national productivity.

How long can the brain focus without a break? ›

This is due to the fact that the brain is only able to maintain true focus for around 45 minutes before it begins to lose steam. Therefore it would be wise practice to study diligently for up to an hour and then take a break.

How long does it take the brain to switch between tasks? ›

Research shows it takes an average of 23 minutes to regain focus after a distraction because different parts of your brain are activated every time you switch between tasks, even ones as simple as answering a teammate's question while updating a report or attending a meeting right after another ends.

Does multitasking cause anxiety? ›

Task switching overstimulates your brain and stresses it out. And chronic stress leads to low-grade anxiety. Research shows that multitasking is associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety among social media users.

Can multitasking cause depression? ›

The results show that frequent media multitasking behavior is associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression, which are consistent with previous research (12, 14).

What are the effects of multitasking? ›

Several studies have shown that high multitaskers experience greater problems focusing on important and complicated tasks, memory impairment of new subject matter, difficulty learning new material, and increased stress levels.

What is it called when your brain fills in words? ›

Apophenia — Filling the Blanks.

Are humans on autopilot? ›

They discovered that the average person spends about 47% of their day on “autopilot,” following automated behaviors while their thoughts wander from the task at hand. Equally intriguing, when the participants reported their mind wandering, they also reported being significantly less happy in that moment.

How do I get my mind off autopilot? ›

6 Simple Tricks to Stay Out of “Autopilot” Mode
  1. Identify what's important to you. What are the most important things in your life? ...
  2. Track how you spend your time. Next, you're going to keep track of how you spend your days. ...
  3. Compare your two lists. ...
  4. Start with small changes. ...
  5. Put down your phone. ...
  6. Never stop playing.

Why is 7 the magic number? ›

There are many theories for this, among which, that seven (like three, another sacred number) is a prime number, indivisible; that our daily lives are organized around a seven-day week; and that seven is the limit to the amount of information we can process and remember at one time.

Can brain run out of memory? ›

The deadpan answer to this question would be, “No, your brain is almost certainly not full.” Although there must be a physical limit to how many memories we can store, it is extremely large. We don't have to worry about running out of space in our lifetime.

How many GB is human memory? ›

As a number, a “petabyte” means 1024 terabytes or a million gigabytes, so the average adult human brain has the ability to store the equivalent of 2.5 million gigabytes digital memory.

Do smart people multitask? ›

Multitasking lowers IQ

A study at the University of London found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they'd expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night.

What is it called when you do multiple things at once? ›

December 2021) Human multitasking is the concept that one can split their attention on more than one task or activity at the same time, such as speaking on the phone while driving a car. Multitasking can result in time wasted due to human context switching and becoming prone to errors due to insufficient attention.

Why is multitasking so difficult? ›

“You can only pay attention to so many things at the same time without cost. Additionally, there seems to be a difference between things you can and can't process simultaneously. People especially struggle to multitask with two tasks that use the same brain systems, like word processing.”

What is another word for multitasking? ›

Multitask Synonyms - WordHippo Thesaurus.
What is another word for multitask?
do at the same timedo together
do at oncedo simultaneously
be in two places at once
1 more row

Why do I do two things at once? ›

What you're actually doing when you think you're dual or multitasking is something called task-switching, or unconsciously shifting your attention between tasks.

Are humans meant to multitask? ›

Think Again Don't believe the multitasking hype, scientists say. New research shows that we humans aren't as good as we think we are at doing several things at once — but it also found a skill that gives us an evolutionary edge. Researchers say humans are merely very good at switching their attention from task to task.

Can human brain do multitasking? ›

We have a hard time multitasking because of the ways that our building blocks of attention and executive control inherently work. To this end, when we attempt to multitask, we are usually switching between one task and another. The human brain has evolved to single task.

What is it called when you can only focus on one thing at a time? ›

Hyperfocus, a common — but confusing — symptom of ADHD, is the ability to zero in intensely on an interesting project or activity for hours at a time. It is the opposite of distractibility, and it is common among both children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Why do people multitask? ›

"Multitasking is the art of distracting yourself from two things you'd rather not be doing by doing them simultaneously." I think this is one reason why multitasking is so popular. We don't feel like doing that work, so we watch TV at the same time to make it seem less tedious.

How do you multitask with ADHD? ›

While you have some focus, hit “pause” and plan how you will use your time. Using your most focused time to plan will help to alleviate the sense of being unfocused at other times. If you begin your work without a detailed plan, you will be much more susceptible to the multitasking trap.

What are some examples of multitasking? ›

25 examples of multitasking
  • Responding to emails while listening to a podcast.
  • Taking notes during a lecture.
  • Completing paperwork while reading the fine print.
  • Driving a vehicle while talking to someone.
  • Talking on the phone while greeting someone.
  • Monitoring social media accounts while creating new content.

Does ADHD make you good at multitasking? ›

The results of this study showed that people affected by ADHD were no better or worse at multitasking, as researchers had thought, but they were less likely to be stressed-out by interruption and maintained a more positive outlook about their work, even when interrupted, than those not diagnosed with ADHD.

What can I do instead of multitasking? ›

Instead of doing that disruptive thing that swoops in and vies for your attention, write it down. A lot of multitasking comes from remembering to do something in the middle of another task. By writing it down, you won't forget, and you can get back to the original task. Follow your energy.

Is it better to multitask or do one thing at a time? ›

Single-tasking improves performance

It's been proven that multitasking actually makes things 40% more timely to complete — therefore, focusing on one task at a time will improve overall efficiency as you'll be able to get more done in a shorter period of time.

What is multitasking in psychology? ›

Multitasking can take place when someone tries to perform two tasks simultaneously, switch . from one task to another, or perform two or more tasks in rapid succession. To determine the costs of this kind of mental "juggling," psychologists conduct task-switching experiments.

What are the disadvantages of multitasking? ›

What are the disadvantages of multitasking?
  • Multitasking affects your quality of work. ...
  • Multitasking can increase your stress. ...
  • Multitasking makes us less productive. ...
  • Multitasking kills focus. ...
  • Multitasking causes memory problems. ...
  • Multitasking leads to less interaction with living beings.
1 May 2022

Is multitasking a skill? ›

Most professionals perform multiple tasks in their jobs, often at the same time, a process called multitasking. The ability to multitask is a valuable skill in many industries, as it increases productivity and saves time. Learning how to develop this ability can help you get a rewarding position or earn a promotion.

What are the signs of ADHD in female adults? ›

Symptoms and signs of ADHD in adult women can include:
  • Difficulty with time management.
  • Disorganization.
  • Feeling overwhelmed.
  • History of anxiety and depression.
  • Difficulty with money management.
18 Mar 2021

Can people with ADHD be smart? ›

ADHD can make completing tasks such as school work, homework, or work projects much more difficult. However, there is no clear link between ADHD and IQ. A person may have a high, average, or low IQ score and also have ADHD. ADHD may cause a person to interrupt in class or perform poorly on tests.

What's the opposite to ADHD? ›

People with SCT have trouble focusing and paying attention, but they're less likely to be impulsive or hyperactive.

Is multitasking a hard or soft skill? ›

Multitasking is identified as one of Matter's top soft skills that is linked to performance, development, and career success. Handles more than one task at the same time with ease.

What skills are multitasking? ›

In your work experience section

Multitasking — like other soft skills — belongs in the work experience section of your resume. Choose accomplishments that show your ability to handle multiple deadlines, conflicting priorities, or a high-volume workload.

Why is multitasking a good skill? ›

Employers value multitasking skills because it shows that an employee can be efficient in their role. Hiring managers seek efficient candidates because it keeps their businesses running smoothly. Common traits that show multitasking skills include organization, attention to detail, task delegation and prioritization.

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