While people have become more productive with modernization, many of us have gone beyond the point of diminishing return.
Multi-tasking allows us to effect more things in a given day, but it doesn’t always allow the quality impact like single-tasking – nor does it allow us to enjoy what we are doing as much.
How many times have you enjoyed really being focused on a single task? We’ve all enjoyed being in that “zone” when we’re lost in a task. Our best work and greatest satisfactions come from such times.
As an executive during the dot com era, I used to say that I needed to make a decision for the company every 15 minutes. Well, I made some bad decisions then from multi-tasking. Now, I make decisions more thoughtfully, always in context of a single corporate vision.
Even beyond work, we give up so much multi-tasking in our lives. Do you remember watching a really great football game while surfing the web? I don’t. In fact, when a game gets interesting, I always put down my laptop. I want to focus and engage with the game because that makes the experience more enjoyable and memorable.
It is not memorable when I’m constantly texting other people while having drinks with my friends. Then, I’m not really engaged with my friends and pretty soon they are texting others as well. I just cheated all of us out of a potential great time together.
I’ve never had a memorable meal eating lunch at my desk while trying to finish up some work. Have you?
We definitely sacrifice a lot being “productive”, multi-tasking and cramming as much into a day as possible. It creates adrenaline and we think we are being impactful. In reality, we are cheating ourselves of being better at what we do and enjoying deeper experiences.