Multitasking V Focused Effort

Last Update: February 18, 2021

We all have an ever-increasing demand for our time and efforts, so finding ways to be more productive and get more done is something we need to consider.

One of the ways that many people try to get more done is by multitasking and on the face of it, if you can work on more than one thing at a time you should be able to get more done - right?

In my opinion though, to actually be more successful and get more done you should learn how to compartmentalize your life. You can do it by applying total focus.

Thinking about some of the most successful people I know:

When working, they focus 100% of their attention on the job.

When with their families, they focus 100% on them.

When enjoying their hobbies - you guessed it - 100% focus.

Because of that focus, that ability to devote all of their attention to a single thing, they tend to be very good at everything they do.

I think it's fair to say most of us try to juggle a whole range of thoughts and emotions all at once. Even if we only have two things going on in our minds there is only space for each one to get 50% of our attention.

Put your 50% attention up against someone who is devoting 100% and they are automatically twice as effective. And the truth is that few of us are holding just two things in mind simultaneously.

This is not to say that you should be 100% focused on just one thing all the time. That would take you into the realms of being obsessive - which is going just too far.

Instead, how about if you focus 100% on one thing AT A TIME. And when you move on to the next thing, you shift your sights totally and focus only on the new task. Allowing yourself a short break between each task is also very helpful in maintaining focus on each new task.

Doing each individual task well, the first time saves you having to go back and waste time fixing a job you weren't fully focused on.

This form of laser-guided thinking is amazingly effective and is very beneficial on those around you. After all, when you are at home, in 'family mode' how much better for your spouse and your children to know that they have 100% of your attention too!

It's good to focus on fun stuff too as well as focus on your business when it's time to work.

Cheers

Dave

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JeffreyBrown Premium
I feel like the pile of things to do would keep getting larger, Dave--especially when there are pets, kids, and multiple jobs in different businesses to attend to! I'll take this information under advisement, but will likely stick with what has worked for me for over 30 years! As the old saying goes, "If it aint broke, don't fix it!"

Jeff
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Dave07 Premium
Hi Jeff
Whatever works best is the best thing for us each individually.
I certainly agree with the old saying!

Thanks
Dave
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JeffreyBrown Premium
Thanks, my friend! enjoy your weekend!
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richardgb Premium
Hi Dave
A great post.

Modern brain scans show that we are actually unable to consciously multi-task. What happens is that we switch from one task to another hence the reduced focus.

The subconscious areas of the brain multi-task all the time of course.

Consciously we can focus on one thing in any moment so some people will say that they can multi-task because they can walk and think, talk etc at the same time. That simply shows a lack of knowledge of how the brain and mind works.
:-)
Richard
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JeffreyBrown Premium
I must be sleepwalking then, Richard, because I get a lot more done and always have open projects ongoing!

Thanks for the information though--very interesting, indeed!

Jeff
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richardgb Premium
Hi Jeff
My wife used to sleepwalk occasionally. She would act out her natural mindset reactions to whatever she was dreaming. As with any dream, the scenes she went through changed regularly and fast. So the concept of focus didn’t apply in her dreams. Fortunately, one of the functions of the subconscious seems to be to protect us; she was able to do things like ironing clothes safely. When she did wake up she had no memory of what she had been doing!
:-)
Richard
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JeffreyBrown Premium
Now THAT is multi-tasking, Richard!😂
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Dave07 Premium
Hi Richard

Yes that makes perfect sense to me. Multitasking is essentially continually switching between tasks. It might work for some but I think for most it is better to focus on just the one task at a time.

Thanks
Dave
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drjec Premium
I do like the idea of laser focusing on one thing at a time. I have even found it choosing a day of the week to laser focus on something is a help to really move forward. Thanks for your post. I t’s pretty challenging.
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Dave07 Premium
Hi Jim
Adding a day into the mix is another great way to focus on something. Adding a deadline is a great way to make us focus on what needs done.

Thanks
Dave
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AlexandraT11 Premium
Great post Dave. I am guilty of giving a little bit of focus on numerous things all day everyday and it’s difficult to not do that when life is non-stop. But you’re right Dave, it’s better to take a deep breath, have a cup of tea and move on to the next task in hand.
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Dave07 Premium
Hi Alex
Hope you are keeping well!
Focusing on one task at a time is definitely the way to go. Now I need to keep taking my own advice!

Take care
Dave
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AlexandraT11 Premium
🤣 yes you do!! Lead the way 😁
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Dave07 Premium
I love it when you are strict!
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AlexandraT11 Premium
😜😉
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1Rudy1 Premium
True, I have found that trying to work on three websites at once, ends up with very little accomplished. When I focus on one site, say finishing a draft post, I can complete that task in better form.
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Dave07 Premium
Hi Rudy
Yes it's amazing how much you can get done by putting all your focus on one task at a time.
I often need to remind myself of this!

Cheers
Dave
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