Adopt Slow-Motion Multitasking For Unleashing Your Creativity

Multitasking can be good if it is applied intelligently.

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In terms of productivity, it is often recommended not to practice multitasking. Indeed, carrying out several important tasks or projects at the same time would be penalizing since your brain loses precious time spending switching too frequently from one subject to another.

In fact, scientists advise to select one task and complete it in its entirety before moving on to the next. This is to maximize your productivity. I have been using this mode of operation for many years now and until then, I thought there were no real alternatives.

And then, recently, I discovered Tim Harford’s TED Talk entitled “A powerful way to unleash your natural creativity” which totally changed my approach to the question:

The Monotask Mode Blocks Creativity

However, this mode of operation is difficult to apply for truly creative people. I am talking about people whose brains produce many new ideas every day. Adopting a work style that focuses on only one task at a time will prevent them from fully exploiting their potential.

The monotask mode blocks natural creativity.

It therefore seems essential to review our usual position on the harmful side of multitasking. And that’s what Tim Harford does perfectly in his TED Talk, which I strongly encourage you to watch.

Albert Einstein Published 4 Outstanding Scientific Articles In 1905

In order to understand that multitasking can have significant beneficial effects on your creativity, it is interesting to look at the example of Albert Einstein.

Thus, in 1905, Albert Einstein published 4 outstanding scientific articles that changed the course of our history:

  • An article on the Brownian Movement which provided empirical evidence that the atom existed and laid the mathematical foundations of economics.
  • An article on general relativity.
  • An article on the photoelectric effect by which we have solar panels.
  • An article on restricted relativity that gave rise to the famous equation E = MC².

Albert Einstein even received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect.

All this suggests that doing several things at once can be good. Of course, you could argue that Albert Einstein is an exception given his exceptional intelligence.

While it is true that Albert Einstein is a special case in terms of intelligence, the fact remains that we can draw lessons from its 1905 year that can be applied to everyone.

Multitasking Is Found In All Creative People

In reality, what Albert Einstein accomplished in 1905 can be found in many very creative artists or scientists. Although it seems contradictory, juggling between their different projects according to their moods or to avoid potential blocking situations on subjects allows them to be much more effective.

By choosing multitasking, they can multiply the amount of work they can do in an incredible way.

Why? Simply because they choose to do multitasking. The people who will lose productivity through multitasking are actually people who will be affected by this way of working.

In most cases, these people will have to work on several tasks or projects at once in order to cope with too much work. They will therefore find themselves stressed and in a hurry, which will give them the feeling that we cannot do everything at the same time.

And this is true in their case but not in the case where multitasking is a very real choice.

Practice Multitasking In Slow-Motion

Very creative people who opt for multitasking will practice what Tim Harford calls slow-motion multitasking. In practice, this means knowingly performing multitasking but in a slower way without any stress or pressure.

As a creative person, your brain is boiling and you have lots of new ideas.

Launch the projects that result from these ideas and move forward in parallel on these projects according to your moods and desires.

So, if you find yourself stuck on a project, don’t waste time stubbornly and consciously choose to switch to another project in order to clear your mind and move on to something else.

This is exactly what Albert Einstein did in 1905 when he was tired of being stuck on his work on general relativity. He chose to take a break to move on to another subject. This allowed him to lay the theoretical foundations of the laser beam. Once this success was achieved, Albert Einstein was able to review his work on general relativity with a clear and calm mind.

And as if by magic, Albert Einstein was able to solve problems on which he was previously stuck very quickly.

Slow-Motion Multitasking Will Unleash Your Creativity

Slow-motion multitasking will free your creativity. There are 3 reasons for its omnipresence among creative people:

  1. Creativity happens at any time and you must therefore welcome it with open arms, even if it means immediately changing the subject. Remember that Thomas Edison, for example, discovered a way to record and play back sound when he could not improve the telegraph machine.
  2. Learning to do something necessarily helps you to be good at something else. So you must take advantage of it.
  3. Changing the subject helps you when you’ve been stuck on a subject for a while. The right answer will then come to you when you have free mind.

In addition, having several projects in different areas at the same time will make it easier for you to overcome a failure in one of your projects.


The big lesson to learn from Tim Harford’s excellent TED Talk is that you shouldn’t set limits. Don’t be afraid to start different projects when you have great ideas coming up. Get started and take advantage of multitasking by choosing this mode of operation rather than suffering it.

This way, you can fully unleash your creativity through multitasking slow-motion, a little-known but decades-old way of working, as Albert Einstein’s example shows.

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