Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Multitasking

As writers, we want to make our characters as unique and interesting as possible. One way to do this is to give your character a special skill or talent that sets him apart from other people. This might be something small, like having a green thumb or being good with animals, to a larger and more competitive talent like stock car racing or being an award-winning film producer. 

When choosing a talent or skill, think about the personality of your character, his range of experiences and who his role models might have been. Some talents might be genetically imparted while others are created through exposure (such as a character talented at fixing watches from growing up in his father’s watch shop) or grow out of interest (archery, wakeboarding, or magic). Don’t be afraid to be creative and make sure the skill or talent is something that works with the scope of the story. 

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Photo copyright: Ryan Ritchie @ Creative Commons

Description: Being able to do several things simultaneously

Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: Being able to split one’s focus between multiple jobs or projects; being able to follow multiple conversations that are going on at once time

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: alert, adaptable, industrious, efficient, controlling, easygoing

Required Resources and Training: Multitasking is often one of those skills that people either have or they don’t have. But people can become better with practice by deliberately splitting their focus while more than one thing is going on

Associated Perceptions:

  • Organized people are the best multitaskers. Sometimes, it’s the people with less organized minds who are able to fragment their thinking and get many things done at once.
  • Multitaskers can do anything while doing ten other things at once. Studies show that certain kinds of tasks (like those where learning is involved) are very difficult to do while multitasking. 
  • Multitasking is always the best option. Some tasks can be done while multitasking but would be done better if the person was completed focused on the task at hand (driving, for instance).
  • Multitasking is touted in today’s society as a highly desirable ability, but constant multitasking can lead to burnout, sloppy work, exhaustion, and the inability to delegate to others. It can also be a detriment to personal relationships when someone can’t give a loved one his/her complete attention. It would be easy to use this ability in a way that goes against common thinking by showing it in a negative light, or dropping a chronic multitasker into a community where it’s seen as a weakness rather than a strength.

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:

  • When leading a large group of people
  • When big jobs (or numerous jobs) have to be done in a short period of time
  • When one person is responsible for many different projects
  • When there is no one else suitable or available to take on a new job
  • For tasks that don’t need a high level of expertise or attention (such as folding laundry, unpacking kitchen boxes, or filing folders)

Resources for Further Information:

Training Your Brain to Multitask

How to Multitask without Losing Your Mind

You can brainstorm other possible Skills and Talents your characters might have by checking out our FULL LIST of this Thesaurus Collection. And for more descriptive help for Setting, Symbolism, Character Traits, Physical Attributes, Emotions, Weather and more, check out our Thesaurus Collections page.

About BECCA PUGLISI

Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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4 Responses to Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Multitasking

  1. :Donna Marie says:

    I’ve become SO A.D.D.ish, multitasking comes naturally, though I forget the one task as I move to the other! lol Great post, as always, Becca 🙂

  2. Something I need to do more of in my life!!

  3. Edgardo says:

    As a writer,this is one indispensable tool to create a very unique character of your story. One that possesses certain traits peculiar yet powerful.

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