Multitasking, Is Less More?
When it comes to multitasking, is less more? I think so. I’m one of those people who would rather do 3 things exceptionally well than 20 things poorly. I am tired of this “ok with average” ethic. Don’t people want to be fully engaged in what they are doing? Through my career I’ve worked with people who ascribe to the “don’t get it perfect, get it done” ethic. What they really mean is do more, get it all done perfectly and as fast as possible. This leads to mistakes, stress, a lack of pride in one’s work, looking 40 when you’re 30 and a serious addiction to Starbucks (and for some, cocaine).
I get it. Productivity is important. Personally and professionally, we want 10 things and all at the same time. Immediate gratification pushes us to do more to get more. Is the end result worth it? Here are some common multitasking mistakes I’ve made. I’m sharing them so you can hopefully identify with them and STOP your multitasking madness.
I’ve tripped on a curb.
I was talking on my cellphone while simultaneously looking for my keys in my handbag, sipping a vitaminwater. I wasn’t looking at where I was walking came to the curb and tripped. I managed to stick the landing like an olympic gymnast. I wasn’t hurt but could have been. I was walking into the street.
I’ve gotten the full fist HONK!!!
I was at a red light. Radio is on, and I’m digging in my purse for my lip balm. Oh why not check my Twitter feed while I’m at it. Ok maybe there’s time for Instagram too. Then… HONNNNNNK! I deserved it. I was the green light leader. I failed everyone. My bad. Lesson learned. No multitasking while driving. When that light turns green, I hit the gas.
I left important and confidential files at the copier.
I was checking emails from my cell phone while at the copier. I see an email that needed a fast answer to a question so I reply. Copies are made and as I’m replying I take the copies BUT NOT THE ORIGINALS! I left them behind. Thank God a colleague, peer and friend went to make copies next saw them and put the documents in a folder and left them on my chair with a Post It. “Lis, I got your back.” I thanked her and she’s a loyal respected friend to this day.
I forgot where I parked!
Yay I found a parking spot. Let me Tweet about my good fortune. Let me Facebook a status update it too. “The parking Gods have rewarded me! Whoo hooo! I even snapped a selfie in the elevator after checking the lighting and the angle of course. Dumb! I failed to capture that I was in PURPLE 5. After shopping for 3 hours I went to Blue 3 and Green 4 before finding my car in Purple 5. Now I always include where I parked when I post about great parking spaces.
We live in a time where we rule the world from the palm of our hands. We can buy movie tickets, schedule a business call and find an Uber car within seconds. We rely on Google calendar to keep our lives in order but we have to remember to buy the movie tickets for the right time while we pay for parking. We have to be sure to click Tuesday am and not pm for that business meeting when entering it into our phones while we are at the ATM machine. The more we do simultaneously, the more we screw up. This isn’t because we aren’t capable, it’s because we are human.