IT individuals who have a desire to earn higher position in business are always willing to take on as many jobs as possible. It’s now quite common for almost anyone who works on a computer to have multiple windows open at the same time. Multitasking is a fairly common skill most freelancers have, or at the very least, think they have. If used correctly, all the technology we have at our finger tips can be streamlined and make the jobs easier.
Multitasking was introduced to make computers more productive, operating systems perform multiple tasks by scheduling processes that use different strategies which may or may not have profitable effects. In this article I will provide you with some pros and cons of multitasking along with some suggestions to use it more effectively. I hope it will facilitate you in your work with multiple screens.
a) Pros of Multitasking
1. Keeps You Connected Along Work
Multitasking in computers facilitates staying connected with work. This is really helpful when your job requires keeping in touch with your colleagues. Using messenger services like MSN, yahoo or Skype are amongst some of the strongest and most common applications for this purpose. These applications let you to stay connected without effecting your work. The multi programming strategy of the operating systems enables those programs to run silently on the PC until it needs an external input and doesn’t disturb the performance of other programs running at the same time. This strategy made it a big advantage for those who have to reside online while working.
2. Collection of Information from Multiple Sources
Multitasking has made it possible to browse information from multiple sites simultaneously. One of the key things to keep in mind when surfing multiple sites at the same time is their responsiveness, and how long they take to load. If the site is unresponsive and the buffer is taking a long time it will probably be better to spend your time trying to find a site that has the same information but loads quicker rather than waiting. The opening of multiple sites with heavier weight may cause the PC to hang. Browsing websites may also be done for entertainment purposes during work hours to take a break from your main duties, but make sure that the site you’re on doesn’t put a heavy load on your server and lower your internet speed.
3. Saves Time
Multitasking saves time by making its users capable of working on multiple programs at the same time. The time slicing strategy of the operating system is the tremendous strategy by which several programs are allowed to execute simultaneously. This helps the processor to execute several programs parallel without wasting time. Thus it saves time by giving the IT individual an opportunity to open and work on multiple screens all together. The productivity in many fields has been increased due to multitasking.
4. Keeps You Updated
It allows you to stay connected through messenger and lets you get information from multiple resources. You will always remain up to date and informed about the trends at work because of multitasking. This feature of an operating system cannot be neglected because without multitasking the internet would not have become ubiquitous and we wouldn’t be able to easily communicate with people around the world. Without multitasking the PC might still be working as a calculating device or performing specific tasks in agencies.
5. Keeps You Awake
While uploading documents or waiting for a file to download, you can enjoy reading digital magazines or newspapers which will keep you awake during work. Some people are used to refreshing themselves by playing online games and listening music. This is the blessing of multitasking by which you can get refreshed or enjoy reading during work hours, specially when you get bored after working for hours on a single project and you cannot get a rest without completing your job.
b) Cons of Multitasking
1. Distraction from Prior Work
Besides having its advantages, sometimes it has a negative impact on work. Multitasking enables you to use many programs that might divert your focus from work. Using services that allow us to communicate with friends during work and playing too many games online are some of the things that have drastic consequences on our performance. The distractions from our main task or priority might lead us towards failure because in some fields concentration is the most important thing.
2. Reduction in Overall Performance
Multitasking may not only cause reduction in the human performance but also in machine performance. Computers can execute several programs at the same time but running too many programs slows down its speed and performance. Apart from parallel running of programs, they still need the same processor for execution which can be optimized because of multitasking strategies but cannot overcome the problem of processor sharing completely. The distraction of human mind from work decreases the human performance in some cases. It is important to understand the limitations of this trait of computers to get the best results.
Pre-emption is the context switch that happens when the ongoing task is interrupted by the other task. This is really irritating when you are working on a very important project with a critical deadline. These interruptions are not only major distractions but also a waste of time. Pre-emptions happen because at certain times every program will need to make use of the resources available. This is a technique to schedule programs in multitasking but is a real bother when the execution of the ongoing program is necessary for the IT worker.
4. Development and Designing Suffers
In designing and development multitasking is helpful in the browsing of data from the internet but it should be done before the coding starts because the tools and platforms used for coding are very heavy and require more resources and memory. Multitasking along with programming produces drastic results in the form of wasted data or slow processor performance. Designing and development also requires attention to detail and getting distracted by the use of multiple programs during coding can prove to be very frustrating when you’re trying to figure out why your code won’t work.
5. Not a Good Idea for Article or Content Writers
The above point is valid for article and content writing as well since employees of this field also entail deliberation like in the field of development. Although it is inevitable to search for data from multiple resources but the research should be done in advance so that it will not affect the writing of editorial.
c) Using Multitasking Fruitfully
1. Manage Prior Work
Multitasking can be made profitable by setting priorities and proper management of work. The most important work should be kept uninfluenced by multitasking. The research work that is unavoidable should be performed in advance. Only programs like messengers should be kept online because it does not affect performance unless it is used for unnecessary chatting during work. It will also keep you connected without disturbing you from work when its status is set to busy.
Use Multiple Resources of Lighter Weight
Multitasking can be very beneficial if used appropriately. If you want to surf then surf the sites that are lighter so the buffer does not take too much time in opening them. Sites for video surfing should be avoided during work.
Do Not Use Social Media During Work
Social communities are very common nowadays. The advantages of these sites are countless but their usage at work has many disadvantages. Not only are you bound to be active on the site, but these sites are heavier to retrieve. Social communities are meant to provide entertainment which is not required at work.
That last tip is the most effective tip to increase your productivity :) Stay away from Social Media. What are your tips to increase the efficiency of multitasking?