Our fast-moving business world cultivates a mentality that requires tasks to be completed immediately (or even sooner). Another feature of this world is that everyone works for several different customers, on several different projects and often under the direction of several different supervisors at once. In this fast-paced environment people are forced to multitask, and they believe that multitasking is efficient. This mistaken belief is reinforced by companies that, in our corporate culture, typically admire and reward employees who simultaneously juggle 14 different projects.

However, experience shows that multitasking does not increase effectiveness. On the contrary, it slows down the performance of work. People are unable to multitask, and those who claim the contrary are typically mistaken in their interpretation of a situation or misunderstand the meaning of multitasking.

For a true understanding of multitasking we first must differentiate between parallel background activities and continuously switching between tasks. Background activities, such as, for example, watching TV, can in fact be conducted simultaneously with other activities; however, in this situation we are focusing on a single activity. When we attempt to simultaneously perform activities that require our real attention we actually switch focus between activities continuously (typically at short intervals).

Switching between tasks always requires physical and mental effort. In terms of physical effort, if we work in front of a computer, we switch between tasks by opening and closing applications and managing files. When switching tasks, we also have to make a mental switch. Switching mentally takes significantly more time than switching physically, even though it is harder to notice. After all, who can tell when we reach a state of “flow” truly focusing on the task at hand, rather than simply working on it?

If during a workday we need to switch between tasks a lot, we slow down considerably and lose a tremendous amount of efficiency in work performance, and at the end of the day we get the feeling that we have been very busy – which is true, since we have been working on 14 things simultaneously – but we haven’t made much progress in terms of individual tasks, none of which can be marked off as completed.

An increasing number of people recognise that there is truth to the above and try to change this situation on their own, but changing an entire corporate culture takes effort and time. Corporations face great inertia and can only change their ways with organisational and IT support.

Our goal is to facilitate this change, to help employees and corporations work more efficiently. Taskfit provides an IT work environment to help reach this goal by reducing interference and increasing focus in order to avoid haphazard work performance. We want to help users focus their entire attention to the task at hand and switch to another task consciously or when a given task has been completed.