Last night I read a few chapters of The ONE Thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Now I'm reflecting on chapter five regarding multi-tasking.
"I hereby declare (confess)
I am queen of, "Just one more thing!"
And what thing is wrong with my kingdom?
Oh! If I can do just one (more) thing, I can do them all!
And I never drop a ball! Until I do...
Multi-tasking is over-rated. It's good for simple... tasks. Easy, mindless exercises like putting clothes in the washer, starting it, putting dishes in the dishwasher, starting it, putting toys in the toy bin while the clothes and the dishes wash, because you can't stand there and watch them wash for an hour, rubbing the fingerprints off the refrigerator while the clothes and the dishes rinse, getting the splashes of water off the mirror as the clothes in the washer are chiming, "I'm all clean and pretty-smelling now!" ... tasks. There is a reason simple little things have a simple little word like task. And even that can be argued you still do it best one at a time...
But add a word like multi to it and then hyphenate it and add a suffix like ing which basically means "progressive" and "continuous" then you apply that long-winded seemingly innocent word to items on your to-do list that are a lot more complex than a dryer spin cycle, require deeper thought and deserve full, undivided attention, like legally binding contracts or driving 70 miles per hour, then all you may get at the end of that multi-tasking effort is a hot, soggy mess... because you never did any one of those multiple tasks correctly or with any focus. Something may end up in the wrong, wet bucket... or worse, all together MIA. I confess. When I get the busiest, I put that crown on, and I become the erroneous queen -- more like joker -- of multi-tasking! And it doesn't pay...
Top 5 Most Recent Multi-Tasking Bloopers:
Filed a document in the wrong file folder of another transaction because too many open files were on the top of the already "hot file" pile scattered across my desk.
Tip: Only work with one hot file at a time. One hot thing at a time goes for most hot things in life.
Text messaged a typo to a client. That had a dirty word. While trying to cut a lime. Tried to fix the typo and all it did is auto correct the typo. Incorrectly. Again. And get my phone juicy.
Tip: Don't text with a kitchen knife like we don't text behind the wheel. Things can get messy.
Speaking of bad driving... Backed into a neighbor's car. On Thanksgiving Day. Because I think I'm a good multi-tasker.
Paid one bill two times. Didn't pay another bill at all. Because, Bill, my neighbor, rang the doorbill. I mean doorbell.
Tip: Write what you paid on the bill and the date and what account you paid from and file it with some focus. And look at the bill for billing errors to begin with! Helps with the budgeting, the bill paying and the bookkeeping. If things happen, like the doorbell rings, it's ok. Complete what you are doing and get the door in a bit. Even Bills or wolfs at your door can wait.
Spent 10 minutes looking up properties. 10 minutes mapping them out. 10 minutes making appointments. And 10 minutes cleaning the car. But because I tried to do it all at once and in haste, guess what I forgot? You can fill in the blank...
I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the book and cutting down my list of multi-tasking related bloopers. I hope my life doesn't become too boring!
Here is the description of the book online.
YOU WANT LESS.
You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what’s the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller paychecks, fewer promotions—and lots of stress.
AND YOU WANT MORE.
You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends.
NOW YOU CAN HAVE BOTH—LESS AND MORE.
In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to
• cut through the clutter
• achieve better results in less time
• build momentum toward your goal
• dial down the stress
• overcome that overwhelmed feeling
• revive your energy
• stay on track
• master what matters to you
The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life—work, personal, family, and spiritual.
WHAT’S YOUR ONE THING?