Dividing Away Efficiency

Was looking for the research related to the diminishing efficiency of dividing tasks and/or multitasking. In particular I was looking for the reduced returns when a professional — be that a team leader or project manager — is asked to handle an increasing amount of different tasks simultaneously.

The conclusion goes somewhat like this:

  • 1 task = 100% attention to the task
  • 2 tasks = 45% attention to each task, loosing 10% in the switching
  • 3 tasks = 25% attention to each task, loosing 25% in the switching
  • 4 tasks = 15% attention to each task, loosing 40% in the switching

… only I can’t find the real numbers. Any and all recommendation to any reasonable source will be entirely appreciated!

However, in the process of searching I did revisit an older study from Standford looking at the lost efficiency by assuming multitasking. Read and be confirmed: At the core we are tasks switchers, not multitaskers — and there is a big difference!

Click here for more information:
Media multitaskers pay mental price, Stanford study shows


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