Multi-tasking

Our world of commerce operates on many assumptions that we routinely do not question, and often that’s just as well.  If society, for example, makes the assumption that time-saving devices will make life easier, it may be most productive to simply accept that premise and progress from there.

Every now and again, however, assumptions surface that are truly counter-productive.  Any given company used to assume the public was one homogenous mass; now we know that assumption leads to failure, and we must understand ‘the public’ in terms of very specific demographic types.

So this post is about the assumption that multi-tasking is an admirable trait.  In my business, I work with busy small business owners, and most of them multi-task constantly.  Perhaps they were able to rise to ownership partly because their multi-tasking opened many doors simultaneously.  But here’s the hitch:  by being in the groove that requires doing many things at once, these folks never do anything throroughly.  They flit amongst their obligations like crazed bees in a summer field, but never drink deeply of any nectar.  Unbeknownst to them, others are left feeling disconnected and dissatisfied.  Tasks are touched upon but never completed.  Strategies are launched, and then lost in the distractions of time passing.

Multi-tasking is a hindrance and liability, and not at all the wondrous skill our hell-bent society suggests it is.  It’s far more fulfilling and successful to cultivate careful attention to the task at hand.  Make a list and go through it methodically, but don’t try to do two things at once, for neither will be properly addressed.

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