From a research study by Decio Coviello, Andrea Ichino and Nicola Persico, titled “Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: The Impact of Task Juggling on Workers’ Speed of Job Completion“, published by The National Bureau of Economic Research

We show that task juggling, i.e., the spreading of effort across too many active projects, decreases the performance of workers, raising the chances of low throughput, long duration of projects and exploding backlogs. Individual speed of job completion cannot be explained only in terms of effort, ability and experience: work scheduling is a crucial “input” that cannot be omitted from the production function of individual workers.”

Cited in FREAKONOMICS.

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5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Shim Marom

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  3. Love it Shim! The quote doesn’t mention quality of work explicitly (this study appears to focus on scheduling), but it often is a major factor.

    For instance, in software development I see more bugs in code in environments where developers are getting drive-by requests all day long and having to switch from task to task without being able to finish or get to a good stopping point.

    This is why I LOOOOOVE Kanban. This is one of the primary problems it can help with.

    -Josh

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  6. Yes Shim, I will do a video showing and explaining what I mean. When I do, I’ll (hopefully) remember to come back here and link to it.

    Cheers!

    Josh

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