Multitaskers Anonymous

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Most of us find ourselves multitasking at some point and are possibly even proud of our multitasking skills. This presentation includes a game (link on last page) plus some discussion questions and ways to combat multitasking in your organization.

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  • I'm glad you liked it! Some of the psychology I learned from Jim Benson (co-author or Personal Kanban). If you want more info, you can watch a video of Jim talking about it: http://vimeo.com/30696302
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  • Steve, Thanks a lot for your presentation. I am interseted in Multitasking topic (bot only because I work in such a conditions, but because I study how to cope with it) and I found quite many useful things!
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Multitaskers Anonymous

  1. 1. Multitaskers Anonymous Image Credit: Peter Kim at OnlineCollege.org/Mulltitasking
  2. 2. Steve Rogalsky @SROGALSKY WINNIPEGAGILIST.BLOGSPOT.COM PROTEGRA.COM
  3. 3. Pair up…
  4. 4. Charting the Effort 120% 100% 80% 60% Time spent switching tasks Time spent on task(s) 40% 20% 0% 1 Task ? 2 3 4 5 6 Tasks Tasks Tasks Tasks Tasks From: QSM 1, Systems Thinking (Dorset House, 1992). Jerry Weinberg
  5. 5. Charting the Effort Project 1 Project 1 Project 2 Project 1 Project 2 Project 3 Project 1 Project 2 Project 3 $ Project 2 Project 3 Assume no task switching costs. When is the project value realized? $ Project 3 $
  6. 6. Charting the Effort Project 1 $ Project 1 Project 2 $ $ Project 2 $ ? Project 3 Assume no task switching costs. When is the project value realized? Project 3 $
  7. 7. But… Why is multitasking slower?
  8. 8. 1. Kahneman • System One • System Two Thinking, Fast and Slow
  9. 9. 1. Kahneman • System One – Happily Multitasks
  10. 10. 1. Kahneman • System Two – Is Selfish – Drains easily – Prefers working alone – Demands singular focus – Is used for Knowledge work
  11. 11. 2. Inventory • In a Physical Environment: – Work piles up on the floor • In your life: – Work piles up in your head
  12. 12. Backlogs help organizing your inventory • Before the backlog => Existential Overhead • After the backlog => Cognitive Ease Credit: Jim Benson http://ourfounder.typepad.com/leblog/2009/07/personal-kanban-and-existential-overhead.html
  13. 13. 3. Zeigarnik Effect When we finish a task: – We get closure and stop thinking about it. When we don’t finish tasks – We keep thinking about them. We yearn for completion.
  14. 14. 3. Zeigarnik Effect Therefore: • If your WIP = 10, Even if you are only working on 1, You are still thinking of all 10 • Every increase in WIP= a) An increase in Technical Debt b) More work for us in the future
  15. 15. 3a. Zeigarnik Side Effect In order to get the feeling of completing something… We look for things we can complete – even if those things are not priority items
  16. 16. 4. Memory There are 3 things that help our memory: i. Coherence ii. Concentration iii. Sequestering Credit Jim Benson http://www.personalkanban.com/pk/expert/processing-and-memorypost-1-why-limit-wip-series/
  17. 17. i. Coherence End to end vs. out of order
  18. 18. ii. Concentration All at once vs. 2 minute segments
  19. 19. iii. Sequestering Movie theatre vs. At home
  20. 20. Multi-tasking Destroys… i. Coherence ii. Concentration iii. Sequestering
  21. 21. Limiting your WIP helps… i. Coherence ii. Concentration iii. Sequestering
  22. 22. In Summary: Limit Your WIP
  23. 23. Starting things w/o finishing = :( Finishing things = :) Fostering Completion = :) Credit: Jim Benson
  24. 24. So… How Do I Say…
  25. 25. 1. Esther Derby: – Stop saying yes to everything – When you say no, hold to it • If they learn they can pressure/convince you once…
  26. 26. 2. Johanna Rothman – If you are expected to run a project without full time resources, say no. If management isn’t committed to the project… – Saying no is difficult, but so is running a project with part time resources.
  27. 27. If you can’t say no… 1. Suggestions from J.B. Rainsberger: – What’s the good business reason to do this? – Why should I do this specifically today? – What would be the consequence of not doing this?
  28. 28. If you can’t say no… 2. Suggestions from Esther and Johanna: – What should I stop doing? – I can do that instead of ____. Which is more important? – I can do that, and here is how it will affect _____ (other work, commitments, etc)
  29. 29. If you can’t say no… 2. Suggestions from Esther and Johanna: – I can start on that project after ______. – When do you need this project? – Let me tell you when we can start that project.
  30. 30. If you can’t say no… 2. Suggestions from Esther and Johanna: – I can’t fit that project in right now, I can do it ______ – I can’t do that, but I can do this _______
  31. 31. Need reinforcement? Try Kanban - Visualize your workflow and your WIP
  32. 32. Thanks! More Info? • http://winnipegagilist.blogspot.ca/2012/01/multitasking-gamehandsnumberssong.html • WinnipegAgilist.blogspot.ca – Search for “Multitasking game” – Game Credit: Alan Cyment – Also available on TastyCupCakes.org • PersonalKanban.com – Jim Bensen – Tonianne DeMaria Barry • Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman • Other Credits – Additional links for Jim, JB, Johanna, Esther articles can all be found on the blog. above

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