To Multi-task or Not to Multi-task ??

I work with lots of coaching clients and a common topic we discuss is “how to multi-task”. This is my response:

Make it a habit to not multi-task. The net result of multi-tasking is doing a poor job on each activity and having it take longer than if you focused on one activity at a time. To help stay focused on the task at hand and stay in the moment with people, it’s helpful to carry a piece of notebook paper with you. Whenever a thought pops in your head, such as a “to do,” immediately get it out of your head and onto the paper. That way the thought will not be weighing you down while trying to concentrate on the activity at hand, such as being in the moment with whoever it is you are talking to. During your planning time each evening, you’ll want to transfer your “to do’s” from your notebook paper into your detailed daily plan.

Think of your life like an hourglass. You know there are thousands of grains of sand in the top of the hourglass: and they all pass slowly and evenly through the narrow neck in the middle. Nothing you or I could do would make more than one grain of sand pass through this narrow neck without impairing the hourglass. You and I and everyone else are like this hourglass. When we start the morning, there are hundreds of task which we feel that we must accomplish that day, but if we do not take them one at a time and let them pass through the day slowly and evenly, as do the grains of sand passing through the narrow neck of the hourglass, then we are bound to break our own physical or mental structure. One grain of sand at a time. One task at a time.

Steve Reiner

Professional Certified Coach

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