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Multitaskers Anonymous

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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Multitaskers Anonymous

Image Credit: Peter Kim at OnlineCollege.org/Mulltitasking
Steve Rogalsky
@SROGALSKY
WINNIPEGAGILIST.BLOGSPOT.COM
PROTEGRA.COM
Pair up…
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
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

$
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

$

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Multitaskers Anonymous

  • 1. Multitaskers Anonymous Image Credit: Peter Kim at OnlineCollege.org/Mulltitasking
  • 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. 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. 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. But… Why is multitasking slower?
  • 8. 1. Kahneman • System One • System Two Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • 9. 1. Kahneman • System One – Happily Multitasks
  • 10. 1. Kahneman • System Two – Is Selfish – Drains easily – Prefers working alone – Demands singular focus – Is used for Knowledge work
  • 11. 2. Inventory • In a Physical Environment: – Work piles up on the floor • In your life: – Work piles up in your head
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. i. Coherence End to end vs. out of order
  • 18. ii. Concentration All at once vs. 2 minute segments
  • 20. Multi-tasking Destroys… i. Coherence ii. Concentration iii. Sequestering
  • 22. Limiting your WIP helps… i. Coherence ii. Concentration iii. Sequestering
  • 23. In Summary: Limit Your WIP
  • 24. Starting things w/o finishing = :( Finishing things = :) Fostering Completion = :) Credit: Jim Benson
  • 25. So… How Do I Say…
  • 26. 1. Esther Derby: – Stop saying yes to everything – When you say no, hold to it • If they learn they can pressure/convince you once…
  • 27. 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.
  • 28. 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?
  • 29. 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)
  • 30. 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.
  • 31. 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 _______
  • 32. Need reinforcement? Try Kanban - Visualize your workflow and your WIP
  • 33. 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