Quiz: The multitasker’s dilemma
For each one of the behaviors below that you’re guilty of, give yourself a point. Oh, but don’t get happy if you start racking them up—each one is a sign you may be doing too much.
The questions are from the book Singletasking by Devora Zack. How often do you:
- Use your handheld device while driving?
- Meet someone new and can’t recall their name within moments?
- Respond to a message while in a meeting?
- Forget what precedes the question, “What do you think about that?”
- Use your handheld device while walking?
- Use your smartphone while talking to another person?
- Intend to do a task but then become sidetracked?
- Show up at the wrong time or place for an appointment?
- Pretend you’re taking notes on your laptop while you’re really engaged in another task—websurfing, checking email, etc.?
- Exit the elevator on the wrong floor because you were distracted?
- Have to reread or rewatch something because you weren’t focused?
- Realize you aren’t giving someone your complete attention?
- Keep your handheld device on the table during meals, checking it often?
- Feel compelled to respond to work demands when you’re off the clock?
- Write a note on a piece of scrap paper only to lose it?
- Finish workdays with the sense you didn’t get enough done?
- Lose your train of thought due to media interruptions?
- Hear from others that you’re easily distracted?
- Surf the web, go on social media, or respond to messages while on the phone?
- Experience a lack of fulfillment and productivity, despite being busy?