Multi-tasking is Dangerous

Sep 12, 2022
The VA Connection: Multi-tasking is Dangerous

Last week, I was talking to my friend Isabelle about multi-tasking. She told me that she thinks of multi-tasking as nothing more than starting and stopping multiple tasks over and over, really fast.

And when I thought about that for a second, I thought, wow – that’s exactly what it is, and it sounds like a bad idea. But in our do-everything-right-now culture, multi-tasking is something that people brag about, and wear like a badge of honor.

This is what the thought pattern of a multi-tasker must look like: start – think – act – stop. Start – think – act – stop. Start – think – act – stop. As quickly as possible. You get the picture – exhausting.

I think it’s time we stop doing that. Here’s why:

  1. You never get to use your whole brain. When you’re multi-tasking your thought process is always fractured. You aren’t able to think through the problem you’re trying to solve from start to finish – which is where the real value is – no matter what you’re doing.
  2. It’s easy to lose the details. When you’re jumping from task to task, it’s almost impossible not to miss important details. There are just too many things competing for your attention. You might feel productive, but progress can be hampered by the inevitable mistakes and rework.
  3. You never feel a sense of accomplishment. While multi-tasking, you might not ever feel like you’re finishing anything (which might actually be the case). By doing one task at a time, to completion, you’ll have the satisfaction of getting something done, which builds confidence and skill.

The truth is, we can only do one thing at a time. So, let’s embrace that in a way that contribute to our success.

Prioritize your work. Be thoughtful about it. Then quiet your mind to focus on one thing at a time. Give it your best, mark it complete and move to the next priority. That’s how work gets done.

You’ve got this.




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