It’s the word we use to describe our lives. It’s almost a boast disguised as a complaint. Overachievers brag about multi-tasking, and how much they’ve gotten done. Many entrepreneurs are trying to pack in so many different activities into one time slot to “save time”. But it is efficient? Are you doing all the various activities at your best level of output? Is your performance at the level you would achieve if you were doing one thing at a time? Are you in danger of overwhelm?
Multitasking is actually responsible for many deaths!
Don’t believe me? Try texting or reading incoming texts while driving a car. Your brain can NOT do multiple activities at the same time without each one of them suffering. Actually, you may think that you are doing them all simultaneously, but your brain is actually shifting quickly between focus.
That explains that you are not actually driving while you are texting. You are doing one thing, and then another. Your car is NOT equipped with autopilot!
Many people realize that even listening to music is distracting, and will turn it off when driving on a hazardous road. That’s smart! Better to be mindful and focused, than in a ditch!
The newest multi-tasking combination that is being touted as the cure for overweight or getting your exercise “over-with”, is a combination of work and exercise: the walking or biking desk. The concept is, you walk or ride slowly while working on your computer. And maybe this is fine if you are doing light reading, or even having a conversation with someone.
But it doesn’t work when you have to do intense work with your brain. These are the brain’s most “heavy lifting” activities:
- Understanding – learning
- Deciding – this can be about prioritizing, and goal setting
- Recalling – we call that memory
- Memorizing – learning and storing facts
- Inhibiting (keeping other thoughts and things from intruding and distracting you)
It uses a tremendous amount of energy to do these activities effectively. If you were walking up a hill and answering complicated questions, it would take too much brain energy to keep your body moving at the same time! You’d have to stop one or the other activity.
So, do you really HAVE to multi-task? The answer is NO. You work more efficiently and effectively; your performance is enhanced when you FOCUS:
- Fix your attention – to align your sight to a focal point
- Objective – the goal of your actions
- Concentrate – intensify your efforts to fulfill the mission
- Unambiguous – no uncertainty or doubt as to the desired outcome
- Strategy – The plan to accomplish the mission
And, it is actually better for your mental and physical health. You lessen the chance of getting overwhelmed and burned out. That’s a big stress reliever!
So give your brain a break; and do one thing at a time WELL. You’ll feel a better sense of accomplishment, and do a better job. Then cross it off your list, and do the next one just as well!
For more tips to improve your performance, while keeping the stress level low, get my free report!
What’s the biggest problem you’ve had with multi-tasking? Please share below!