“Fucking two things up at the same time isn`t multitasking.” –  Dick Mastersonmulti tasking chalkboard

 

So.

Let me burst the bubble of elite Olympic level multi taskers around the world.

 

You are not a multi tasker.

 

In fact … unfortunately for you … there is no such thing as a multi tasker.

 

<insert ‘Doh!’ here>

 

You … and every other so-called multitasker … are actually doing something called serial tasking.

Yup.

 

 

The unfortunate truth is that even if you are ambidextrous you cannot engage in simultaneous tasks.

Of course … someone smarter than I is now going to send me an email and tell me who and how and when someone actually engages in simultaneous tasks <beyond walking and chewing gum>. Oh. And … no … if you start the laundry and go off and do something else that is not multi tasking … that is still serial tasking.

 

So … let me say this … suffice it to say the majority of us cannot actually do two things at the same time.

And not only can most of us not do it … we don’t do it.

While it may be fast … and look like some derivative of multi tasking … we actually shift from specific task to specific task.

 

I say that because then the discussion revolves around someone’s ability to focus … and focus quickly.

Oh. And assimilate it, organize it and apply it … and then move on to the next task.

 

<yikes … THAT sounds difficult>

 

I noted all of the above because those are the skills required to actually be a good <non> multi tasker.

 

As you are shifting from one task to another to another in rapid succession you are attaching the appropriate amount of focus necessary to accommodate that task … and if you are really good at it … you attach the appropriate amount of focus to excel at that task.

Notice I didn’t say ‘time’ … I said focus.focus

I say that because I sometimes think we confuse focus with time.

 

People who can focus quickly and assimilate information properly don’t need a shitload of time.

 

Uh Oh.

I guess that means I am suggesting that people who actually suck at serial tasking … actually suck at proper focus.

 

Well.

Yeah.

I am.

 

Assuming no one can really multi task … and someone can actually only be really good at serial tasking … that suggests not everyone can do it.

 

Hey.

Here is the good news. You can control the whole tasking thing <as long as you don’t let yourself be ‘bullied’>.

 

“I want to lengthen, not shorten, my attention span, and most of the material splendors of the twenty-first century bully me in the opposite direction. The fault is mine, I’ll admit. I’m too slow-witted, reluctant to evolve, constitutionally unable to get with the program. I can’t afford the newest gadgets and I’m not a natural multitasker.” –  Phillip Connors

 

A Life truth.

The world doesn’t actually demand you serial task <despite how it may actually feel>.

The world simply demands you excel at a task.

 

<ponder that for a moment … because I tend to believe we think we HAVE to multi task>

 

 

Its people who demand – of themselves – this whole serial tasking thing.

Society doesn’t demand it <nor does it generally assess evaluations on how you are doing>.

Oddly enough … in the end … while we so often rant and complain about too many things to do and the demands of everyday Life … we get judged multi task single taskon how well we actually do something … not how many things we do <ok … in business there is a balance>.

But. Doing something … even if it is just one thing … well … matters.

 

But that’s a different post.

Today?

 

I am simply suggesting that no one multi tasks.

 

And that you can only be a good serial tasker.

 

Oh.

And if you want to be good at it … you need to be good at focusing on important details in a short period of time, assimilating them, completing the hugh be the only onetask … and moving on.

 

If you can’t do that?

 

Well.

 

You suck at not only multi tasking but serial tasking.

Remember.

In the end … one thing at a time … and focus. Whatever it is called is irrelevant.

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Written by Bruce