Monthly Archives: July 2010

July 2010: Why We Make Mistakes

Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average, by Joseph T. Hallinan, 2009.

This is an absolutely intriguing book. I’ve never seen a book that really explores why we all seem to make decisions that in retrospect were clearly wrong – and then we go and do it again!

Hallinan shares the research into how we can “walk and chew gum but not much else”; why the “grass does look greener” every  time and why people insist that San Diego is west of Reno. Hallinan has a wealth of real life stories and you will see yourself in many of them.

Keep this book by your bed and treat yourself to a good laugh just before you turn off the light. And maybe you’ll find yourself making some mental shifts and avoiding a mistake or two.


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July Tip 2010: Resist the Temptation to Multi-Task

In reading this month’s book, Why We Make Mistakes, I was struck by the insightful chapter on why multi-tasking simply does not work and why it leads to so many mistakes. Somehow “multi-tasking” has become the buzz word for being a super performer but is it really? Do you know that it takes between 9 – 15 minutes to refocus when you have been interrupted from a task!

The research (and our own observations confirm) that we simply can’t do several things at once and do them well. We make mistakes and the enjoyment of being able to complete a task or experience a moment is significantly reduced. And we become so stressed feeling we’re not getting anything done well. So resist the temptation to multi-task by practicing each day and making a personal commitment to be the best that you can be by being truly present in the moment. Here are some ideas . . .

  • “Chuck” your time (set aside a block of time to concentrate on one task)
  • Don’t read your email early in the morning (it’s so distracting!)
  • Be more realistic about how much time a task will take (a huge challenge for me)
  • Close your eyes when talking on the phone (love it!)
  • Take at least 3 things off your list today (you can’t do it all & that’s okay)
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