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Multi-Tasking Myth

June 3, 2020-What are you doing while reading this post? Maybe checking social media, drinking coffee, talking on the phone? According to Wikipedia, Human multitasking is an apparent human ability to perform more than one task, or activity, at the same time. An example of multitasking is taking a phone call while driving a car. Multitasking can result in time wasted due to human context switching and apparently causing more errors due to insufficient attention. If one becomes proficient at two tasks, it is possible to rapidly shift attention between the tasks and perform the tasks well/proficiently.

Let’s do a test to see if we can prove that multitasking is a time-waster. You’ll need a pen and a piece of paper.

Instructions: We are going to write out the word multitasking, one letter at a time. BUT, each time we write a letter, we will write a number underneath. For example, write the M first and then the number 1 underneath. Switch back and forth.

M  U  L  T  I T A S K I N G

1  2   3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

How long did that take? A lot longer than it should have. Now, if we simply write the word multitasking and, when completed, write the corresponding numbers underneath, we’ll be more efficient, and two things will be completed much more quickly when we focus on one thing at a time.

If you’re working on your novel, answering emails, talking on the phone and listening to a podcast, I urge you to stop! Do one thing at a time until it’s finished, or you’ll spend more time on tasks than you need to, and you’ll never get anything done. Another thing to remember is that time doesn’t always equal quality. You can spend a year on a novel, and it can be complete garbage whereas you could spend three months on a novel and it could be a best-seller, the point is, your reader doesn’t care about how long it took for you to write the book, only that it’s well written and well developed. Well written and well-developed books come from preparing beforehand. What’s that old saying? If you had 6 hours to cut down a tree, you should spend 4 of those hours sharpening your axe.

Stick to one thing at a time, prepare well, and you’ll be shocked at what you can accomplish. X LLB