Human Multitasking

Experiment the impact of multitasking over individual productivity


Participants play with writing a series of names in different ways and experiment this way how jumping from one task to another (context switching) affects their overall performance in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. This activity helps them understand when and how they lose energy and fail to reach their daily objectives.



  • Introduce the activity to the participants and ask for 2 volunteers. The rest of the group will observe this experiment.
  • Provide the activity link to the volunteers.


  • Flip a coin to find out which one of the two volunteers will proceed according to approach A (write down in the prepared framework the 8 listed names, in that exact order, by completing them horizontally and moving on to the next row) and which to approach B (complete the names vertically and then move on to the next column).
  • The activity is complete when one of the two volunteers finishes the task and ask for the timer to be stopped.

Debrief (suggested)

  • The facilitator may ask the following questions:
    • How satisfied are you with the result?
    • What were the challenges? How did you overcome them?
    • How did the approach you followed influence your focus?
    • Does this happen to you at work?



Additional info

This activity follows activity type guide from CARTA

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Human multitasking - Colltrain Library - Activity Description
Human multitasking - Colltrain Library - Activity Description

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