How Multitasking Burned Me


There is a common misconception that multitasking is a great way to get more done. I don't think this is true and have read in a few different places that it's actually counter-productive. It may be true that women are better multitaskers than men, and I will let the women win that argument.

I do believe that I am more productive when I focus my attention on one thing at a time. And when I try to do too many things at once, I get burned. No, literally BURNED!

You may know part of the story from our Over the Weekend post, but the real story has a great lesson built into it. I was trying to get some chicken nuggets into the oven quickly so that Kels and I could head out and take her outfit photos before the sun went down.

Making chicken nuggets is not a difficult task.

Here's how we do it:

  1. Preheat the oven.
  2. With oven mitts, take out pizza stone.
  3. Place chicken nuggets on stone.
  4. With oven mitts, put pizza stone back in the oven.

See, there's nothing to it...when I am focused on the task at hand.

When I try to do too many things at once is when I forget that first part of step four which says, "With oven mitts." And then I burn seven out of 10 of my fingers, and ruin my night--as well as Kelsey's.

We learned that one of our house rules works really well though. After years of saying "I'm OK" when we drop something, I didn't say it this time. I screamed and Kelsey yelled, "Are you OK?" and I replied, "No...I'm not." Kelsey ran to the kitchen to see what happened (and did a great job of treating my wounds).

So, in an effort to save a few minutes, I wasted a whole evening. Let this be a lesson to everyone: 1. Use oven mitts and 2. Don't try to multitask.

Multitaking = BAD. Singular-tasking = GOOD.

Have you ever learned a lesson the hard way?

P.S. You might also like to read Kelsey's side of the story.