Leadership & Multitasking… Stop It!

Multi-tasking is a crock. Always has been, always will be.

Participants in my leadership sessions have heard me say this, and I’ll repeat it here: “I don’t care who you are, how much money you make, what your title is, or where you went to school… you can only do one thing at a time.”

Just one. You can have a whole bunch of things in various stages of incomplete, you can have several things waiting for your attention, and you can have things so teed up that you move near-seamlessly from one task to the next.

But you’re still moving from one task to the next.

As leaders, this is an essential line of reasoning. If we’re constantly distracted, thinking we’re actually doing several things at one time, all the while simply screwing up things en masse, we need to realize that leadership is about doing it right, not doing it all.

Focus on doing what you’re doing — you can focus on the next thing when you’re done with this thing. I gotta tell you, it just doesn’t seem like this is cutting-edge thinking…

Recently on Twitter, Guy Kawasaki posted a link to the “Dumb Little Man” website, where there was a perfect article about this new movement called “uni-tasking.”

You have got to be bagging me here… doing one thing at a time, and doing it well, is now this trendy little thing called “uni-tasking??” What consultant or academic dreamed up that tasty morsel??

Yeah, OK, whatever… just as long as multitasking dies its appropriate death, I guess I can tolerate some ridiculous fad-focused vernacular so that others can embrace its demise.

But that’s just me…


Kevin Berchelmann


  1. says

    Fabulous article. KB, you happened to be on an email distribution list I was also on, so I thought I'd find out a little about you. I like your thoughts.

    I myself have always wondered what the benefit of having multiple projects/tasks in a state of flux or different states of completion does for a person. The simple answer is it all depends on how much can be delegated. Delegation is something many (myself included) struggle with. Those that delegate effectively (which means they have good folks in the organization to do the tasks) can as you said, go from one job or project seamlessly as if they were teed up.

    I appreciate you taking on the multitasking myth.

    Advatage Benefit Service

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *