Multi, not multitasking

Writing and me.
3 min readAug 11, 2022

Having many skills or talents is fine: get that degree, train in that vocation, make that certificate an add-on. All the better for you! I’m such a fan, as you can see in this post where I went on to talk more about being good at many different things.

Doing many things at once a.k.a multitasking though, not so much…

Contrary to popular opinion, multitasking is not the cape-wearing hero you think it is. In the real sense, it’s less productive. You only distract yourself and get to destination burn-out rather quickly.

If you are still struggling to see it, imagine you have a watering can full of water, in your hand. You also have four soup bowls in front of you (those transparent ones). Your mission is to get one full bowl out of the exercise. Your best bet would be to pour into one bowl first, ensure it gets full before moving to the next and onwards like that like that. That best bet would be focusing on one task and finishing it before moving to the next. What multitasking is, is pouring water into all four balls at the same time. This only wastes your water because a good amount will miss all four bowls and go to the ground. Mind you, the water in this analogy, is your energy and the bowls are different tasks.

Okay, some people have contested my analogy in the past. They say things like “but if you are already in the kitchen, you can boil rice and prepare the stew at the same time”. To that, I say, sure! If both tasks are within the same trajectory, then go on ahead.

For example, there’s a building called Elephant house(and rightly so) on Broad street in Marina, Lagos. In that building, Hygeia HMO and First bank have their offices. Now, would it make sense for two people from the same company who are headed to Hygeia HMO and First Bank respectively to take two separate cars? Or maybe one person will go first while the other person waits in their office and when he returns the car, the other person moves? Wait, I’ve got it. The first person goes, gets to the building, doesn’t enter, instead, turns the car around and heads back to the office to drop the keys for the second person.

Am I communicating?

If your to-do list is full, nobody says you can’t group tasks that are similar or along the same path together. Of course it will save you some time and energy. But if you have to take correspondence in a meeting and you decide that that’s when you want to also go for your NIN capturing, then all the best to you.

Another thing, some people are better at things than others; so there’s that.

Know yourself and what you can and can’t work with. Don’t go and be doing 80mph on the express, throwing your head back, laughing and gisting away when you know that you operate better on a 40.


If you’ve read this to this point, daalu.

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Cheers to the weekend 🍻