Today we are going to be looking at the truth about multitasking.
More to the point, we are going to discover why you need to stop multi-tasking.
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I recently finished reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
Got to say I totally loved it!
While there were lots of highlights within the book, in this post I wanted to talk about one in particular.
It’s about multi-tasking.
Over the years, there has been a lot of discussion on the pros and cons of multitasking.
In Essentialism, the author has an interesting insight. For some context, this section came under the chapter – Focus. What’s Important Now?
Here’s what he said –
At this point you might expect me to start talking about the evils of multi-tasking – about how a true Essentialist never attempts to do more than one thing at a time. But in fact we can easily do two things at the same time: wash the dishes and listen to the radio, eat and talk, clear the clutter on our desk while thinking about where to go for lunch, text message while watching television, and so on.
What we can’t do is concentrate on two things at the same time. When I talk about being present, I’m not talking about doing only one thing at a time. I’m talking about being focused on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking itself is not the enemy of Essentialism: pretending we can “multi-focus” is.
The truth is while many of us take great pride and even brag about the fact that we can do multiple things at once, the reality is that while we are multi-tasking, we aren’t truly focusing on what we are doing to our best ability.
This means that we may appear to get a whole lot done but the quality of the tasks may suffer. In some cases, this may mean we are doing things half-assed. Doing things half-assed can lead to mistakes.
Of course, there is a lot more than our level of productivity or preciseness to take into consideration.
There are people to consider. Going out for dinner with someone and spending time on the phone texting or even worse talking to other people on the phone, means that you are not focusing on the person you are with. As a result, they may feel upset and neglected.
By acting this way, you are not showing them they are important. All the talk in the world about how much you care for someone won’t matter if you aren’t showing them how much you care.
Living in the moment allows you to concentrate on what really matters to you.
Here’s a question for you. As you are reading this post, what else are you doing? What else has your focus? Are you really paying attention to the words you are reading?
All of us have to do more than one thing at a time, a lot of the time but for the best results try to focus your concentration on one thing at a time.
Grab a copy of the book for yourself, it’s a great read.
When you understand the truth about multitasking you can learn to truly focus. What task have you done lately that could have benefited from your full concentration?
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