Friday, February 19, 2016

The danger of multitasking

I've heard Charlie Munger mention the danger of multitasking a few times over the last couple of years, including this comment from last week's Daily Journal Annual Meeting:
And that brings me to the subject of multitasking. All you people have gotten very good at multitasking. And that would be fine if you were the chief nurse in a hospital. But as an investor, I think you’re on the wrong road. Multitasking will not be the highest quality thought man is capable of doing. 
Juggling two or three balls at once, where people come at you on their schedule, not yours, is not an ideal thinking environment. Luckily a lot of you are so obscure that you have plenty of time to think. 
And I was in that position for a long time and it helped me, and I hope it works well for you. If it doesn’t, I think you’re going to have to be satisfied with life in the shallows. 
Josh Waitzkin also commented on this a number of years ago in a two-part article posted on the blog of Tim Ferriss: 

The Multitasking Virus and the End of Learning? Part 1

The Multitasking Virus and the End of Learning? Part 2


Related book: The Art of Learning