Multi-tasking is the antithesis of productivity… Maximum performance in the office for us coaches is possible only when you concentrate single-mindedly on the task—the most important task, and you stay at it until it is 100% complete.
Multitasking is a Myth: Stop Being a Multitasking Maniac!
Happy start of the season to all of you fall sports! We just completed all of our meetings today and start up bright and early tomorrow with all of our fitness tests. With this being a crazy time of year for fall sports, I wanted to send you a quick reminder on how you should NOT be working in the office.
In early June, I went to and spoke at Dan Tudor’s National Collegiate Recruiting Conference. This year I decided to tackle one of the biggest productivity killers out there: multitasking. To prepare for the speech, I read a few books and a lot of articles on how multitasking negatively affects the quality of the work that we are putting out.
One interesting study I found was from The University of London. The multitasking men in this study were found to have IQ drops of up to 15 points which lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child. If I were to apply the results of this study to what we do daily as coaches, this would mean that the next time we’re writing a recruit an email during a meeting, our cognitive capacity is being diminished to the point that we might as well let an 8-year-old write it for you.
For those of us who are recruiting younger and younger these days, that may not be such a bad thing. For everybody else, that is pretty scary.
To keep up with our competition, we need to be putting out quality work.
Multi-tasking is the antithesis of productivity.
Multitasking is actually a myth. It is impossible. You actually cannot mentally and effectively multitask. We only have 1 brain and it does not function like a computer. The brain has only one channel for language.
To illustrate how multitasking affects the quality of our work, I need you to do an exercise with me:
Count from 1-10 as fast as you can. Now, say the alphabet from A-J out loud as fast as you can. Now count A-1, B-2, C-3 all the way to J-10 as fast as you can. Tell me, did that last part take longer? Were you less accurate? And could you tell how much more effort was required to accomplish the task?
You have just proven to yourself that it is impossible to cognitively run 2 different processes at the same time [without having to go back and forth between the letter and the number].
Maximum performance in the office for us coaches is possible only when you concentrate single-mindedly on the task—the most important task, and you stay at it until it is 100 percent complete.
- I believe that our need to multitask is significantly reduced when we do a better job of saying No and Yes. We need to stop scattering our energy, focus, and wasting our time on trivial things that have nothing to do with our vision and goals and start saying “yes” to our priorities and to what truly matters. Each day there is more to do than can get done. So we must make choices, and those choices include saying “no” to some people and opportunities so that we can say “yes” to the greater work we are meant to do.
- List two or three multitasking activities you commonly engage in at work or at home. The next time you catch yourself multitasking, STOP! Take a moment to think about what you’re doing, and quickly choose one of those tasks to focus on first. Complete that task before you switch to the other one.
When we immerse in a single task, we can access phenomenal FLOW; that is when we can get into a really creative and productive place. It is the mental state where we are so focused and engaged with what we are doing, we produce our greatest results and where peak performance happens.