Sep 21 2011
It’s the middle name for
most entrepreneurs, but
is it the source of
Multi-tasking –as in walking post haste to the men’s or ladies room, chewing gum, texting your accountant while cell phone conferencing your lawyer and signing off on a major customer delivery form on a clipboard being held by your assistant . . . and all the time knowing that in just a matter of seconds, you’re going to need at least one hand free.
Yes, entrepreneurs live in the fast lane, and yes multi-tasking is a way of life for the small business owner. But does the end always justify the means? Surely you’ve heard more than once from a filled-with-wisdom grandparent type that “Haste Makes Waste!” and have no doubt proven the truth of that to yourself a few times, true?
But now you have passed all recollection of those life experiences into the deep, dark, dingy caverns of your mind and no longer carry the need to heed such warnings anywhere near your front burner, and in fact probably harbor them back in that little storage area that holds memories of a flunked course, a failed romance and poor toilet training when you were three.
Though –aha!– the more you try to do in a hurry, the more likely you are to screw something up. Why? Because it’s been scientifically proven many times over that the human brain (though many protest the thought with what they believe to be contradictory examples) cannot do more than one thing at a time, meaning in the exact same moment.
Sit in a chair.
Lift your feet off the ground. turn your ankles so your feet make small circles (any direction you like — one in one direction and the other in another, or both in the same direction; it doesn’t matter).
Next, get your hands moving in sync by turning your wrists.
When you start feeling like a well-oiled machine, try to reverse direction with your hands while maintaining the original direction your feet have been moving. Or switch and reverse foot direction from your hands.
The point is that multi-tasking may look impressive to others who are easily impressed, but don’t expect that any kind of steady diet of trying to do more than one thing at a time is going to produce some miraculous level of off-the-charts productivity to write home about.
It is not better to do half a job well instead of a whole job not well. Doing half a job well simply means the job is only half done. Period. Doing a whole job not well means that effort and determination were present, and that, presumably, something important was learned in the process. Uh, this is true at least for most successful entrepreneurs. The rest? Who knows?
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