Funny motivational speaker
Watching Steve eat breakfast sometimes bugs me.
He poaches the egg, places it on his plate, the cuts the egg to distribute evenly with the toast for each bite. Without looking at the phone, reading the newspaper or watching TV, he eats. If I ask him for help with something, Steve responds, “I’ll do it when I finish eating my breakfast.”
I want to punch him.
My breakfast is a frenzied activity with the blender whirling, I race through the kitchen, gathering protein powder and flax milk. My foot opens the freezer for berries, while I peel the banana with my teeth, and plop it into the smoothie mix. My breakfast is slurped while I write, with the news whispering in the background.
During the 1990s to early 2000s, there was exuberance about the benefits of multitasking. Gadgets to enable us to perform several tasks at once. Magazine articles offered tips to improve our multitasking skills. Multitasking appeared in the skills section of resumes.
Now that we’ve trained ourselves to stir the soup with a spoon held between our teeth, while we chop veggies for the salad, and help kids with their homework, we learn it is all wrong. Studies show multitasking makes us less efficient and reduces our intelligence by up to 17%.
WHAT? This is like finding out that:
Camels don’t store water in their humps
The five-second rule isn’t valid
It doesn’t take seven years to digest swallowed gum
Well, whoop de do.
Now, instead of multi-tasking, we are supposed to mono-task. Mono-task means to dedicate ourselves to one task until it is complete. It turns out that our brains are wired for deep innovated and concentrated thinking, so we really aren’t able to multitask. We believe we are multitasking, but instead, our brain stops one job and switches another task without our awareness. All this stopping and restarting is less efficient and less effective.
Mono-tasking will increase your creativity, energy, and focus.
Tips for mono-tasking
1. Make a to-do list. Identify your top three priorities for the day, then complete them. Finishing a critical task rewards us with a sense of accomplishment and productivity.
2. To focus, turn off distractions. Turn off your cell phone and email to concentrate on one task at a time. If you find that completely breaking away is too severe, begin a focused practice in 15-minute intervals. Allowing yourself to concentrate on one project will increase your speed and accuracy, it will also enhance your innovation.
3. Give your brain a break. Your brain gets tired, so you will be more productive when you give yourself several five minutes rest periods throughout the day. These small breaks will renew your energy, and make space for new ideas.
This morning, I turned off the phone and TV while I worked. Without distractions, I managed to finish in one hour what would usually take me half a day.
The extra time freed me up to take a walk with Tia, and I purposely left my phone home behind, to savor the greenness and peace that surrounded me. I already feel the benefits of mono-tasking.
With practice, I may be able to watch Steve eat his egg without wanting to stab him with my fork.