I recently had an interesting sudden realization. I examined my typical activities and workflow and realized my weakness is crazy multitasking.
I consider myself as very focused and single-minded as a single mind can be in the Macro (that is, in the long run and big picture).
But I just realised that in the Micro (short-term day-to-day) I often bite off more than I can chew which I now have realized affects my morale, causes undue stress as well as lack of sleep as I work into the night in a rush to do all this stuff.
Instead I should fix time, flex scope and prioritize better. This is a far better approach.
In other words I should be focused in the Micro as well.
There is no such thing as multitasking
After realizing all this, I naturally googled to learn more as well as for ways to overcome this.
Interestingly I learnt that there is no such thing as “true multitasking.” You’re not truly multitasking.
I’ve never thought of it this way before.
To quote Wikipedia:
Human multitasking is an apparent human ability to perform more than one task, or activity, over a short period…Multitasking can result in time wasted due to human context switching and apparently causing more errors due to insufficient attention. Studies have shown that it’s impossible to focus on more than one task at a time.
So whenever you or I think we are multitasking we are actually switching from one task to another so it feels like we are doing multiple things at once.
Makes sense right?
Hence to avoid incurring switching costs I am determined from now on to focus on finishing what I’m currently doing before I proceed to the next thing.
Hopefully this will result in me being more calm and my days won’t always feel like such a mad rush.
A word of warning to myself
The temptation is real. I know it. I’ve felt it.
I need to stop trying to want to do too much and resist the urge when it comes. And it will come.
This goes to show how people can have blind spots. In the past I never would have associated the word “unfocused” with myself and I’d wager if you asked anyone who knew me they would vouch for me.
Nevertheless in order to be successful in anything in life it requires self-awareness however harsh on yourself.
For any of you interested in extra reading, in my googling craze I’ve come across a fantastic book by Gary W. Keller called The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results and have started working through it and I’m already impressed.
That’s all for now. Finally, I want to say Happy New Year and warm wishes for 2018 everyone!
Tony Lee Jacobs