Multitasking vs. Micro tasking

There are many people today who are proud to call themselves good multitasker. In a high number of job advertisements companies write how much they value multitasking and how much they need people able to multitask. This group of proud multitaskers takes responsibility for projects, is involved in different projects and operational tasks, they are often called for tuff tasks, because they are capable to succeed.

This deception in managers often moves workload from the valued multitasker to someone else on the team.

In 2016 HBR website published a research on multitasking. The research was conducted with more than 9000 employees from more than 60 companies and the conclusion was simple: there is no good multitasking, but a good micro tasking ability that makes people successful.

In 2017 American Society of Psychology conducted survey with more than 25 000 people from industries Finance, IT, FMCG and Renewable energy and after analyzing data from the survey they came out with the same conclusion as the 2016 survey.

Again in 2017 in Europe there was a concise survey, conducted by the Berliner Institute of Technology researchers, who asked 4605 people on how they think on multitasking. The results from this survey showed that people think that there are options in their everyday work for multitasking, but the process of multitasking is a breaking point for the effective performance of every individual. As a conclusion, researchers confirmed that there is a slight difference between multitasking and micro tasking as a definition, but a very big difference from impact on performance perspective.

Multitasking stands as a process when a individual is trying to do several tasks at the same time. It is often seen as a distractor of the high performance of the individual. People who try to multitask bring the feeling of disinterest in others around them. A strong example in today business world is a person attending a meeting and checking and responding e-mails during the meeting. He proudly calls himself a multitasker, but others often see this person as a rude, disinterested in them and the purpose of the meeting, not connected to the challenges and information they are discussing.

Micro tasking, on the other hand is different.

S.  McPhersons describes it like a “line of micro operations executed in a certain period one following each other.” Micro tasking is often described as a line from different small tasks in a following line, focusing the executor on a certain task for a certain period. And when the period ends, or the task is completed, the executor moves to the next task.

Now you must really think for yourself – how do you manage your daily routines. If you stand out saying that you’re a good at things because you multitask then think again. Ask for feedback on how people around you see your multitasking activity, and do they feel that you are so great at your work as you think. And if you collect feedback that is surprising for you then analyze again your productivity. Connect the feedback, you received, with the style of task completion you have built and look at the improvements you can implement. Decide if it is better for you to multitask, or accept a different approach and try to reconstruct your style of working so that you can focus on a productivity approach  by  divide your work on a micro tasks that can help  you  focus better, perform faster and more effective and make others feel positive with  your style of working.


Multitasking and micro tasking are not opposites, but 2 different approaches to the work and tasks that function separately. The truth is that you cannot exclude one of them and rely only on the other  in your work and life. But if you want to benefit in all areas of your life you will have to critically analyze how situations and decide on which from both approaches will work better, considering not only the task, but  also people you are interacting in the process of fulfilling that task, and how your style of working impacts their work and internal  world.


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