You ever find yourself unable to recall whether you remembered to do that thing you needed to do? You remember starting, but you can’t remember finishing. (Confession: this happened to me TWICE this week… so far!)
Shame on me!
This is just a symptom of a terrible disease that infects all of us serial entrepreneur types. It’s a trap that’s so subtle, we almost never see it. Ask yourself this:
Do you think that multi-tasking is not only *possible* but that you are *good* at it?
Fact: You’re wrong. I read this article a while back and dang if it hasn’t been unpleasantly stuck in my craw since then – I’m anxious to hear what you think, too:
I used to *think* I was good at juggling 4 or 5 things at once because when I did, I *felt* like I had accomplished a lot.
But science is proving over and over that that *feeling* of increased accomplishment is nothing more than an ILLUSION.
Juggling is hard work. It FEELS like you have been busy – but once you stop juggling, you’re in the identical state that you were when you started. Juggling doesn’t advance ANYTHING.
But WHY are we so easily able to fool ourselves? We should be SMARTER than that, right?
That’s because when you’re subject to the law of the jungle, you have to constantly search for threats, but 90% of the time, whatever catches your eye turns out to be nothing.
So the brain is BUILT to save your internal memory from remembering unimportant stuff and once you eliminate it from your vision, it disappears from your brain forever.
The problem is, when you multi-task, you can’t help but spread your attention WAY too thin. Memory and imagination require a LOT of processing power.
But Attention takes a lot of braincells too, and since it’s “older” in evolutionary terms, it gets preference over the more advanced parts of the brain.
You don’t use any LESS brain power – those brain cells are blazing at lightning speed, so you FEEL like you’re THINKING. But you won’t actually LEARN anything.
It might make more sense if you compare brain power to muscle power – you could use your muscles to say, build a shed in your backyard – OR you could run laps around the block.
BOTH would fatigue you, and your body would tell you that both tasks FEEL identical. But on one hand, you’ve accomplished something. On the other hand, all you’ve done is waste energy.
That’s not to say multi-tasking is ALWAYS wrong.
There’s just too much to get done with too little resources for us to NEVER try to do 2 things at once. But the key is in being selective.
If you’re doing “BUSY WORK”, you don’t have to occupy your big old brain. Mindless tasks SHOULD be multi-tasked.
But whenever you’re DEVELOPING your business, give it your FULL attention.
Any time you’re doing something NEW or trying to LEARN, you CANNOT multi-task and expect to absorb ANYTHING meaningful.
But it’s ultimately up to YOU to sort your workload properly.
And this is not just my opinion, but it is scientific FACT. Lab coats were involved. They might even have used beakers and Bunsen burners. And the metric system, too!
But seriously, resist the temptation – fight the bad habits. Entrepreneurs like us really DO think differently than most folks…
But that doesn’t mean we have brains that are magically different. Just like computer hardware, there are limitations on what we can ACTUALLY do, and we’re not always the best judge.
Do yourself a favor.
Until the end of THIS month, when you are doing something you need to LEARN, turn off your cellphone, disconnect the wifi, and find a quiet, still place to consume that info.
See how much better you do, how much more you get done without distraction, and then come over to the blog and thank me.
NOTE: If this idea makes you *uncomfortable* then you NEED to do this exercise the WORST! URGENTLY! Because you’re addicted to that illusion of accomplishment, and it’s holding you back.
I promise you, it’s HURTING your business, and it’s HURTING your potential for success.
Until next time, CONQUER through FOCUS!
P.S. I know some of you are just itching to argue with me, but if you read the article here how do YOU interpret it? I had my doubts, but I’ve changed my mind.
Are you magic and can truly multi-task? Or have you fallen into this trap, too? Please share your thoughts here on the blog!