Monday, May 01, 2006

Just cause some "expert" said it, doesn't make it true.

Heard this on the radio today and went to John Tesh's web site to snag it....because I think it's a bunch of crap!

Stop multi-tasking! It doesn't work!
If you're constantly doing a million things at once, don't be surprised if you NEVER make it to the end of your to-do list. Why? Because studies show that when you multi-task, it takes twice as long to finish projects than it would if you did them one at a time!
So, here's how to cut down on the multi-tasking and get more accomplished. These tricks will also help keep you from stressing-out! We found them in Woman's Day magazine.

  • First: Get a jump start. Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier than you usually get up. Then, lie in bed for those 10 minutes and think through everything you have to do that day. When you visualize things one at a time, you'll be able to move from task to task more quickly. Also, you won't have to figure things out as you go along. You'll already have a mental checklist to follow.
  • Next: Create a distraction-free zone. For tasks like bill paying and budget planning, set aside a block of time and find a place where you won't be distracted. According to psychologist David Meyer, you have to mentally "warm up" again for a task every time you're interrupted. And it can take anywhere from 3 to 15 minutes to do that, wasting valuable time.
  • And one last way to get more done in less time: Don't put off things that are easy! We all do this. You come home and toss your coat on the back of the chair instead of in the closet. You check your answering machine and vow to call someone back when it's more convenient instead of right away. These little things can add up to big chunks of time when you put them off. So don't get lazy! Do the little things as they come up, and you won't be racing against the clock at the end of the day.
One of the things Mr. Tesh mentioned specifically was talking and typing...that it couldn't be done effectively because it takes the same skill to do both. That, my friends is a bunch of "bovine feces!" I do it every single day and if I wasn't "effective" at it I'd be updating my resume right now.

I believe that it is a skill that can be developed. I've watched many trainees flounder at this job because they couldn't multi-task and then, somehow, "learn" to do it. Maybe it's different when it's your job to multi-task, I don't know. What I do know is that the human mind is capable of far more than we give it credit for. We all do it, every day. We make simultaneous decisions with no trouble. The amount of decisions the human mind makes just driving to work is astounding! Some of them are minute, yes, but the thought process was still there. So if it can be done on a micro-level, why not on a larger scale?

Although it is rare to receive good service at a fast food restaurant, I watched a young girl, all of 18 years old multi-task her tail off at Burger King the other day. She was taking orders on her wireless headset at the drive-thru, committing them to her memory, while walking around filling other orders, giving instructions and explaining her actions to a trainee whom she had in tow and then returning to her register to take money, count change, and enter the orders she had remembered. Don't tell her that multi-tasking is inefficient or takes twice as long, she'll have none of it! I did mention to her that 9-1-1 was hiring before I left.