Multi-tasking doesn’t work! Now before all you multi-taskers and Super-Mom’s stop reading, I want you to think about this.
We’ve been taught that to be effective we need to multi-task, to be able to manage multiple deadlines and projects, take care of many things at once and juggle several balls in the air and maintain balance and a happy life. Talk about a losing battle!
How many Multi-Taskers do you know who live in a calm, relaxed state emotionally and physically? Not many I’d say.
It’s impossible for your mind to focus on more than one thing at a time. One of the biggest problems we have, is a weakness of attention. Although you may feel like you are effective because you are juggling many things, the truth is you are inhibiting your effectiveness because you are trying to focus on more than one thing at a time.
Imagine your mind like an hourglass. Only one grain of sand can pass through at a time. When you try to push more than one thought through your mind at a time, you are jamming yourself up.
If you don’t believe me, try an exercise right now.
Close your eyes and think of anything. Now try to hold more than 2 ideas or pictures in your mind at the same time. It’s impossible!
One of your intellectual factors is your Will. Your Will gives you the ability to focus on an idea, a problem, a goal or whatever you are working on. And your mind is an automatic mechanism that works to find a goal, solve problems and provide the methodology on “How” to do something.
Your mind is like a machine and if you use it properly, you can do anything you want, create something from nothing or solve any problem you have, as long as you don’t jam up the mechanism. And how do you jam it up? By thinking of too many things at once. Study Thomas Edison or Elmer Gates and you will see how they used the power of their minds to solve problems and create solutions.
Here are some tips to improve the use of your Will and improve your effectiveness using the power of your mind.
- At night make a list of things to do tomorrow – ideas come to you at night when you are sleeping and your objective mind is in a relaxed state.
- In the morning, look at your list and take extra time to write them in order of execution by priority. The extra time you take to do this will multiply the time you save by being disorganized and bouncing from one task to another.
- When you start a task, stay on that task until it is complete or you have taken it as far as you can take it.
- Practice daily relaxation breaks. At least 2 – 3 times per day, take 15 minutes to look at your list again and then relax. Take a walk, take a nap, take a break!
- Time block – block off recurring events and tasks in your calendar as recurring appointments and then each day practice sticking to the schedule. Be prepared to tweak it and improve it.
- Put up a Stop sign on your office door so people don’t interrupt you. If you are in an environment where there are many interruptions, then find a place to work that is quiet and inspiring.
Practice developing your Will. Try lighting a candle or draw a small dot on the wall and then sit down in a comfortable chair and try to focus your mind on the candle or on the dot. Now at first, your mind will quickly drift somewhere else, but bring your mind back to the candle or the dot. Practice this every day for a few minutes and see how long you can hold your mind on the candle or the dot. Now you don’t have to do this simple exercise but I guarantee you that if you did, the strength of your Will would increase and your ability to focus would multiply.
The key to success in anything you do is focus!
Where your mind goes is where you go. Wherever you place your attention is where you go. Whatever you focus on or think about is what you get. As I said, your mind has an automatic mechanism and it works to reach whatever goal you set whether it’s positive or negative. Whatever target you give your mind, whatever you are focusing on or thinking about, your mind will automatically find a way to hit the target and accomplish the desired goal.
Stop multi-tasking! Your mind can only go in one direction at a time and you can only hold one idea or image in your mind at a time.