Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Myth of Multitasking

It's finally spring time in the northern hemisphere, and along with the gradually improving weather comes an increase in energy and emphasis on setting goals and getting things done.

How to best accomplish more while maintaining sanity?

It may suprise you to know that I am going to advocate ELIMINATING multitasking as a method to accomoplishing more. I know that most women are oriented towards figuring out how we can in fact do more activities and events at the same time.

However, multitasking is an illusion. Just because we can lay our heads down at night and mentally cross off a large number of tasks from our to-do list doesn't mean that we actually accomplished more.

Sure, as an expert multitasker you can get a lot of things done.

But are you REALLY doing these things? Are you actually engaged in the activities you do? Or are you just skimming the surface of them, putting in just enough effort just to get it done more quickly?

For some tasks, this might make sense. But for most of the things you do, don't you actually want to LIVE them? Multitasking implies that your attention is split across more than one thing.

This pulls you away from fully engaging in that event, and in life itself. You aren't present. It keeps you from experiencing a texured, deep activity. Really paying attention to what you are doing at this moment will yield a much better result than if you try to "phone it in."

For instance, I notice that when clients are trying to talk to me on the phone during coaching sessions while also checking emails or washing dishes or whatever, they are much less creative, less able to generate meaningful solutions to problems, and less able to even identify what the problems even are! Their attention is divided - therefore, the outcome is only a fraction of what they could be achieving.

Is this the case with activities in your life? Are you getting only a fraction of fulfillment from your life? Could it be that you are only giving your life a fraction of the attention it deserves?

Give it some thought, and then in a few days return to this blog for some suggestions on how to combat the pull towards multitasking.....

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