Multi-Tasking is a Lie

A recent article I read said that office workers, because of the array of social media available, including Twitter, Multi-tasking is a lieFacebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, and YouTube – to name just a few – plus texts, phone calls, and people popping in or asking questions, are interrupted once every 11 minutes!

This is shocking enough, but when you consider that getting focused on what you’re doing can take around 25 minutes before you’re ‘in the zone’, many office workers can spend their entire day without ever really being able to focus on anything that they’re doing.

Can you imagine how that can impact on any clinic’s output? While the treatments themselves are uninterrupted, when engaged with all the other important tasks to grow your clinic your productivity is being destroyed.

Plus, I’m pleased to say that the idea of being able to multi-task and switch between jobs has been debunked, with recent studies showing that your IQ drops by ten points each time you try, compared to smoking marijuana which only sees it drop by five points. That’s right, you’re better off smoking a joint at work than trying to multi-task.

If you still don’t believe me, try this next exercise. I want you to write out, “multi-tasking is a lie”, and then number each of the letters. In the first exercise I want you to write the letter M then the number 1 underneath, then the U with the number 2 below, and so on.

I want you to write it as fast as you possibly can, timing yourself as you do it. It should look like the example below.

M U  L  T I  T A S K  I   N   G    I    S   A   L    I   E

1   2  3 4 5 6 7 8 9  10 11 12  13  14 15 16 17 18

Then I’d like you to do the same thing again, but this time, simply write out the statement “multi-tasking is a lie” first, and then write 1 to 18 under each of the letters afterwards. Seriously give it a try now.

The second time you were probably a third quicker than the first, which demonstrates how impractical multi-tasking is. If we can simply squeeze an additional 30 minutes out of your day, that would give you around an extra 15 working days a year.

And that’s about a month that you don’t currently have! I really believe that if you nail this, you’ll be far more efficient and have a lot more time to play with than that. Remember that if you’re saying yes to something you’re saying no to a lot more other things. Yet it’s an easy thing to do.

Someone asks if they can sit down with you for five minutes and pick your brains (when is it ever five minutes?) and you think ‘yeah no problem’ I’m a nice person so you say yes, but what are you ultimately saying no to? A lot of the time it’s the really important actions that get pushed back.

You need to focus on the important things, and don’t multi-task; in fact in Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s book The One Thing, they talk about the importance of niching down and concentrating on one thing that is ultimately most important to you in achieving success, rather than trying to achieve everything. You may have heard the saying “If you’re chasing two rabbits, you won’t catch either one.”

By Alan S Adams

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About 

As an award-winning business coach and bestselling author, Alan S Adams has helped hundreds of businesses across the UK to move from simply surviving to positively thriving. The publication of his second book Passion To Profit: 7 Steps To Building A Kick-Ass Agency and his third book, The Beautiful Business: Secrets to Sculpting Your Ultimate Clinic, sees him focus very specifically on creative agencies and aesthetic clinic sector, sharing advice and guidance with the potential to revolutionise turnover, client retention and overall growth. Alan was also recognised by Enterprise Nation as one of the UK’s Top 50 Advisors and APCTC Coach of The Year Finalist.

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