The Myth Of Multitasking: Focus Or Fail
Focusing is underrated, and has been for quite some time. Yet it’s the secret to great work. Twitter, email, phone calls, instant messages, web browsing – they are all distractions and ultimately collateral tasks. They constantly call for your attention but they don’t make a real difference in accomplishing objectives from a production standpoint. And if you’re not a prolific producer, you’re never going to be successful.
No doubt, you have real work and serious projects that you want to get done – both personally and professionally. Finishing those projects is what brings the highest degree of satisfaction from life. Even for projects that will ultimately end up on the web, in many cases unplugging is necessary to get the best results.
As an artist and a blogger, I do several things before starting work on an idea: I close Firefox, turn off my cell phone and eliminate all outside distractions. There is simply no other way to get solid writing completed, it is imperative to focus 100% of your attention on it. It’s like that in any project that you want to be successful and ultimately of high quality.
Multitasking is a myth, really you are accomplishing nothing even if you are getting work done because it will be sub-par. And, there’s no point to completing projects that are sub-par in the first place. If you want to do anything that you will actually be proud of after completion, it’s all about focusing.
Also, there is no sense in being more productive to produce results anyone else can. If you’re doing that, you’re relatively dispensable. There’s just no value in it. If you’re a digital content producer, finishing content just to finish it without focus behind it will create results that get skipped over. Quality, not quantity wins in the game of infinite choices.
Unfortunately focusing is a lost art, especially in my generation. I’ve previously shared my observations on Gen Y – but something not discussed in that thread was the fact that our generation grew up multitasking. We grew up working on projects and studying while browsing the web, eating dinner, and talking with our peers. I only learned self-discipline later in life, but I had to unlearn the habits I acquired growing up multitasking. You don’t have much to gain from it, because while you may feel like you’re getting more done, the results of your efforts suffer.
Some other thoughts on focusing…
Kill the sense of urgency, focus on creating inspiration/motivation instead
Too many people have a false sense of urgency with what they’re doing and pretty much life itself. That sense of urgency perpetuates a loss of focus. Urgency is not productivity, nor a motivator for the best results – inspiration and motivation are far better.
Good marketing is the ability to get people to focus
Too much marketing is centered on the quick fix, the how can I interrupt you for 30 seconds. Instead of trying to always win quick bits of attention, what if you engaged in content marketing to actually forge a relationship with your audience over time. That would be a far more effective strategy. You only get focused attention from people you’ve built permission with.
Carve out as much time during you day for focused work as possible
This work is what leads to productivity, fulfillment and ultimately happiness. The collateral things are easy and anyone can do them, it’s the focused, unique work that’s valuable.
Focusing kills overthinking
By focusing on one thing, you’ll stop overthinking because your mind will have direction and purpose. Focus destroys the unfortunate by-product of “too much to do” by forcing you to take yourself to task with what is at hand. Your focus will cause you to take the first step, concurrently the hardest and most difficult of any project.
Focus is like a muscle
The more time you spend focused, the stronger this ability will get. If you regularly force yourself to focus on something – anything – on a consistent basis, the ability to focus on all else in your life will become easier.
Focusing is how you enter a flow experience
A funny thing happens once you focus yourself on a task you excel at. Bearing you’re passionate about it, you’ll inevitably enter a flow experience, where everything outside of your task ceases to exist, and you have consciously and unconsciously committed yourself to it. A flow experience is effortless, but it is only achieved through that initial focus.
Let the multi-taskers lose their time bit by bit, and instead learn to focus and ultimately produce better results on everything you do.
Related posts from The Future Buzz
Related posts from around the web
The Magical Power of Focus (Zen Habits)
Where is Your Precious Focus Going Today? (The Positivity Blog)