Please don’t multitask!

Please don’t multitask! Future Leaders Blog – WATC India – 16 June 2017

In our last blog post we talked about the “busy bug”. Let’s continue our conversation this week with another symptom of the having the busy bug.

Image via Shutterstock

Multitasking has been hailed as a great thing for as long as we can remember. We actually think it’s a bad thing – and let us tell you why.

Whenever you multitask you are not really giving anything your complete attention.

And if nothing gets your full attention, it’s sadly not getting all of you. And you are probably not at your best if you are not tapping into all of you, are you? Our guess would be no.

‘If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.’

Anonymous

Because we are pretty sure that we are not the only ones who recognize situations such as these ones:

  • Responding to emails while being on a conference call, therefore missing out on some key information that was shared at some point
  • Checking text messages on the mobile phone while listening to what the children did at school – not really hearing how their day has been
  • Checking the phone while in meetings – (unintentionally) sending the message to the other meeting participants that they are less important
  • Working on a presentation and getting distracted by the pinging sound of a new email in the inbox – then going to check the email and losing trail of thought on the presentation, having to spend more time than needed getting refocused on it

It is of course very good to be able to multitask when needed; when a crisis hits, when a deadline is coming up – but to operate out of a multitasking mode all the time is to waste our best capability away.

A more effective mode is to be 100% present whatever we are doing, whomever we are with. It may not work all the time, but any improvement is a valuable improvement.

Why not try it out! It’s a pretty cool, being 100% present. And it definitely beats being in a constant state of multitasking. And on top of that – it makes the people we are with feel very special, as they get our full attention. And that’s incredibly powerful, for both parties.

About the authors:

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.

Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at www.leadingteamsbook.com

Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”Enjoyable to read. Simple to understand. Practical to implement. A must read for team members or leaders” Debbie Fogel-Monnissen, Executive Vice President, International Markets Finance Officer, Mastercard, NY, USA