You’ve read the productivity blogs.
“Don’t multitask, you’ll get less done!” “Get into flow with a single focused task!”
They’re not wrong, but they’re not complete, either.
If your goal is distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities, don’t multitask. You’ll withdraw from your limits and your skills won’t improve to the same degree.
Deep work (as Cal Newport calls it) is better at producing those results.
But if your goal is having the ability to “see around corners” when you produce, consider throwing a little bit of multitasking in there. You’ll produce less, but time invested with many diverging nodes of thought lets you spot patterns that others don’t.
Non-obvious connections and second-order consequences are clearer in an unfocused mind, thanks to multi-tasking.
Taking massive action upon those discoveries is more efficient in a focused mind, thanks to single-tasking.
Multitasking gets a bad rap. Instead, let’s consider its utility, and use it as an advantage.