Multitaskers Are Liars – Slow Down Challenge Day 3

Multitaskers Are Liars. All of them.

multitasking jon harrison jeff goins

I received my copy of Jeff’s latest book The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing – I say received, as I was blessed to receive a copy from Michael Hyatt in a recent giveaway. (by the way, you should pick up your copy A.S.A.P. – at time of posting, it is 40% off on Amazon – HERE).

I’m participating in Jeff’s Slow Down Challenge. Part of the challenge on the third day, deals with one of my favorite topics – the myth of multi-tasking.

Multitaskers Are Liars. All of them. Sorry, it is just not possible. If you say you can multitask, you are lying. I don’t care what you say, it is impossible to dedicate 100% of your attention to more than one thing at a time. I’ve entered into some crazy debates with sincere people (or is that sincere debates with crazy people?) who whole heartedly believe that you can multitask in the fullest sense of the word.

Overcoming the mental noise that attempting to be a multitasker creates is at the heart of personal productivity master David Allen’s very excellent work Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. In this book, David Allen talks about how each of us have a brain that functions like a computer in a way – we have limited “Psychic RAM” that is, the mind can only hold so many things in its attention span at one time.

Think about every book you want to read and every movie you want to watch. Now think about everything you need to buy from the grocery store (maybe you followed my earlier advice on how to save gobs of money by planning out your meals). Do you have any incomplete projects around the house? All these thoughts take up mental energy. No wonder many of us feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to even start.

Worse yet, when we get a moment of free time, its all too easy to waste it on something silly that we had no intention of even doing, like watching the TV, surfing the internet, or playing that darned crack-like addiction Candy Crush.

So how do you fix this? Well, here is Jeff’s assignment from day three, and I think it is a pretty good start.

  1. Pick one task you need to accomplish; write it down.
  2. List all distractions that stand in your way.
  3. Share the list with one person who can hold you accountable.
  4. As you work, glance at your list and remind yourself what really matters.
  5. Turn off your phone and/or silence other pieces of technology, while you do this task. See how much better your can concentrate when you focus.

Pretty cool, right? I had some work I needed to finish for a certification course I am currently completing, so this was a pretty big deal for me to finally sit down, shut off the noise, and work through the assignment.

What are you dealing with today that could benefit from this assignment? I’d love to hear about it so that I can cheer you on!