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The Multi-tasking / Focus dichotomy

Oct 31, 2014 / by StackAdapt

“Ability to multitask”, this phrase has become an ubiquitous part of all job descriptions, “25 Life Hack” blog posts, and everyday life.

I decided to do a quick informal survey around the office and ask my peeps about how they prefer to handle their work – by multitasking or focusing.


In today’s environment, most of us are pressured or expected to be multitasking: checking emails, skyping colleagues, texting friends, reading industry news, and doing our primary jobs – that’s the everyday routine for many of us. Now multiply all of that by a start-up environment where everyone’s wearing different hats. It seems that there is no other way to get sh…stuff done without multitasking.

There has been many articles written on this topic: Forbes, Huffington Post, NPR, etc. many articles I came across share this opinion: in the long-run, multitasking is not helpful, and not beneficial in terms of actually learning, and after-all, it is a delusion.

While for me personally focusing on one task at a time is the only way I can work, I made a quick survey around the office and here are my results.


Software Engineers: Multitasking

Focus wins among the most technologically-savvy, structure-oriented, and code-spitting people at StackAdapt.

Publisher Relations Manager – multitasking. When he opens his laptop in the morning, he probably has 50 unread emails from all of our publishers, demanding attention. Switching from task to task is the only way this role can operate.

Accounting – Focus. I was really glad when I heard that our accountant prefers to focus on single tasks. I don’t fancy the idea of getting a 2-weeks late paycheck with an email, saying “ Sorry, got caught up in things.”

Marketing – Focus.

CEO – Focus. No surprise here, Ildar is all about focus and a couple of jokes every time he completes a task.

COO – Focus.

Ad operations/campaign manager – Focus.

Technical Account Managers – Focus.

Account directors – Unknown (away on client meetings).

Lesson of a day – Focus!

It seems that the majority of us at StackAdapt work best when buckling down and focusing on one task at a time, what about you?

Topics: Startup culture, Blog Posts

Written by StackAdapt

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