Don't Multi-Task. Focus.

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Is it better to multitask or is it better to focus on one task or one project at a time?  This is a great question and it’s something that every leader has to wrestle with because we are trying to spin so many plates and we have a lot going on.  There’s a lot happening in our workflow and there are a lot of demands coming at us. We have got things going on on our computer, on our desk, on our phone, and someone walking in the door.  Let’s wrestle with this for a few minutes. Let’s think about multitasking. Is it even possible to multitask? I know we like to brag that we are great multitaskers, but I’m not sure that any of us are great multitaskers.  If you really look at multitasking, you are not doing multiple things at one time, you are switching between different tasks. When you are switching between five, six, or seven tasks, you are losing focus and you are losing momentum.  

I teach that you are going to be much farther ahead if you will learn to focus on one task or one project at a time.  It’s not easy, but it can be done. It’s an art that you can develop- the art of focusing on one task at a time; you perfect it, you get better.  When you are able to slow down and focus, you can get so much done. I’ve been talking a lot about eating the frog first. Mark Twain said if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, everything else is going to go better in your day (paraphrase).  Who wants to eat a live frog? Here’s your live frog. Just block a 20-minute segment of time to focus on something and do that everyday. I would encourage you to do it the first thing in your day. Why? The majority of us typically do better in the morning.  Your brain is performing at its best in the morning. First thing, before you get distracted, before you have all kinds of people grabbing for your attention, before you’re tempted to work on a million other things, take a 20-minute block of time and focus.

I will tell you, you will be amazed at the results. Yes, multitasking can make you busy, but that’s not the goal of productivity.  We all know plenty of people who are busy. The goal of productivity is what can you accomplish and what do you accomplish? You will accomplish more when you stop trying to multitask and when you choose to focus your attention on one task at a time.  


Your #1 fan,

Ryan

Ryan Frank