By Mike Aux-Tinee…
During this happiness project, one thing that has come at me out of left field and taken me by surprise is the effect multi-tasking has on my happiness. I realized, I become emotionally drained trying to manage so many things at once. It seems like a very trivial issue; get it under control and feel happier, but there it is.
To get the upper hand and keep multi-tasking from ruling my life , I have come up with another mantra; when something is in hand, do it then.
I do not know exactly when the idea that we could or should multi-task came into existence. If I could go back in time, this would be one thing that I would un-invent. (along with cabbage patch dolls, parachute pants and pet rocks).
Multi-tasking is the most counter productive activity we can engage in. You have been given a task that requires complete attention and focus to accomplish, successfully. If you deviate just a little, things are going to go very badly for you:
- you may have to redo the work; missing a deadline or disappointing a customer
- your girl friend decides that her ‘buddy’ at work who listens to her would be a much better boy friend than you are. Sorry pal, you had your chance
- you crash your car because you were texting and driving; damaging other cars or hurting someone.
Some of you are going to disagree with me, but look at it like this. You can only do one thing at a time and do it successfully. I know, someone is going to say, hey, I can walk down the street, chew gum and chat on my phone… so there.
Yes, you can do all of those things. But your attention is distracted and not focused. Next time you are out, do a little people watching. Keep track how many people are walking and talking on their phones. How many of them trip over something, run into someone or walk into the street without looking at the cross walk signs? I think you will be surprised at how many people do these things.
Can it be possible to survive and compete successfully in the modern world and not multi-task? I think so and here are my ideas:
- I am human and to expect me to give 110% (or more) is unrealistic. First of all, no one can give that amount. Someone can say, hey you are only giving us 90%, so how about bumping that up 10%. But mathematically, it does not exist. If you want more effort, get more help.
- How important is this to you? If it is very important, then I need the time to focus all of my attention. If you decide at the last-minute you need a bag-up job on something that you forgot about, do not complain at what I produce. Good things take time and effort.
- Learn to let somethings just go. I can not do everything, everyday for everyone. Someone is going to need to fend for themselves and not rely on me. I may end up disappointing a lot of people, but at the end of the day, I am the one who is unhappy. The other person got what they wanted or needed and are happy. So, it is time to bring out the word ‘no’ and use it more often.
Anything I forgot or you would like to contribute an idea? Just chime on in!