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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