Feb 21st 2020

5 destructive multitasking personas

Do you ever find yourself replying to emails whilst doing your weekly grocery shop? Or walking to your next meeting whilst finishing up another call? 

These examples of multitasking happen in our everyday lives without us even realising. In fact, in the fast-paced working world of today, it is a skill that cannot be ignored.

What is multitasking? 

Multitasking is what we do when we deal with more than one task at the same time. It’s often perceived as a great trait to have – but is it really?

Many, if not all, candidates will claim to have this skill. The downfall of making a hire and this turning out not to be true can be destructive for business. In fact, multitasking is not necessarily as sweet as it sounds. We’ve outlined some mistakes to avoid.

5 destructive multitasking personas

Casual Cassie, who is just going to wing it.
A big but common mistake. This approach to having multiple tasks to complete will not only lead to deadlines not being met, but to tasks completed at a poor standard. The ‘wingers’ will find themselves doing bits of a project, only to have to go back and start again as they have failed to prepare properly.

Work Muddling Maddie.
Whilst putting the wrong tea brand in your trolley because you are trying to type an email might not seem that big of a deal – when Work Muddling Maddie sends a confidential email to the wrong client there will be serious financial and legal problems for a business. GDPR is not a joke. 

Put it off Paul.
Employees that get distracted by things like the smell of someone’s pizza in the microwave or gossiping coworkers could be disastrous multitaskers. For procrastinators, multitasking demands all of their attention and constant deviations from the actual task can lead to work being late and to poor quality.

Meltdown Margaret.
It’s not an easy feat completing multiple pieces of work and it can definitely take its toll on employees that lack multitasking as a skill. Struggling under the pressure of all multiple tasks creates meltdowns and will lead to sloppy, careless work that could damage customer brand, employer brand and lead to financial implications.

Lackadaisical Larry, the ineffective manager.
Managing a team comes with a lot of responsibility and 35% of startup and small business owners believe poor multitasking skills make for poor managers. They become lackadaisical which places more pressure on business and can lead to a stunt in team development. 

A side hustler makes the perfect hire

Multitasking is definitely one of the tricker soft skills to master and to identify in someone from a CV or in an interview. 

Whilst hiring managers can ask the classic real-life scenarios in an interview or get candidates to complete some form of psychometric test, there is one thing that many employers don’t quite realise the significance of: side hustles.

Soft skills such as multitasking aren’t something that can be taught (much like having a high attention to detail). Instead, by juggling multiple hobbies alongside a day job, a candidate develops this skill – and can become very good at it. In fact, one in four Brits are taking more to this way of life so there must be some seriously cool multitaskers out there. 


Meet the Masters of More 

Side hustles. The gig economy. Job hopping. Careers are changing, and the way people think about work is too. 

We spend 90,000 hours of life at work. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. You do the math. If you harness your time you can learn, hone and master nine skills throughout your career. Who do you want to be?

Throughout nine weeks we dive into nine soft skills in high demand by employers. We introduce candidates who are nailing this new world of work. Meet the Masters of More.