BIG Focus: Focus versus Multi-tasking
Are you proud of being able to multi-task? Does your employer ask that you be an expert multi-tasker? Here’s why our society needs to stop putting value on the ability to multi-task and start regaining our ability to focus.
This is the year of BIG. And the theme for April is BIG Focus. I hope you have been watching the videos as I do not repeat everything that is in the written Motivator, plus it is always motivating to hear a message.
I want you to focus on killing multitasking! Yes, you read that correctly! While many people boast about being a great multitasker, there are volumes of research on the negative effects of multitasking. Doing several things at once . . .
- decreases productivity by as much as 40%.
- lowers your IQ.
- affects the quality of your work.
- kills the ability to think creatively.
- limits the ability to make wise decisions.
- decreases memory function.
Heavy multitaskers are more easily distracted by irrelevant information than those who aren’t constantly in a multimedia frenzy according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Stop multi-tasking. Instead, think of yourself as a great juggler of tasks and projects and a person who focuses on what they are doing right now! I’ll use myself as an example. I have stacks of projects that need to be worked on; emails to respond to; speeches to prepare; travel coming up in 3 days; rewriting of 4 workbooks from Star Achievement Series and the list goes on and on. As a great juggler, I know all those “balls” are up in the air and are in my peripheral vision. Right now, I am focused on writing this Monday Motivator. I am not doing two things at once and I am blocking out any office distractions and email pop ups.
Focus takes discipline, commitment and energy. For some people, being focused comes easier than for others but in this day and age, everyone is suffering with attention deficit. We pay a price when we aren’t focused on the task at hand.
If you see yourself as a great juggler . . . someone who can switch gears in a second when required . . . that is doable! You will feel like you can tackle the day and anything that comes your way.
This week, I want you to practice BIG Focus! Picture a juggler in your mind or place a picture of a juggler nearby as a reminder. This will take practice and self-control. Good luck!