Activity Does Not Equal Productivity

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Just because we are busy, in-demand and have zero time to participate in anything outside of the must-do list does not necessarily mean we are accomplishing anything meaningful. In fact, if you skip the step where you ask, “What is the goal here?” Then it is almost guaranteed you will end up feeling incomplete and unaccomplished. Or just never quite know when you reach the finish line.

Multi-tasking anyone? Here is another big myth we have accepted and even wear as a badge of honor. Yes, our brain can do multiple involuntary processes at a time, things like breathing and regulating our heart beat. But in reality, we can’t do more than one task that requires focus at a time. It’s a lie. When you try to multi-task it dumbs down your work and makes you less efficient. For example, if you try to listen to a webinar and respond to email at the same time, what at actually happens is your brain switches back and forth between the multiple tasks. So what you are doing is multi-switching not multi-tasking. Switching back and forth between tasks increases the time it takes to complete all tasks by 28-100% than doing each task one at a time. It’s like anti-efficiency. Even scarier, there was a study done at Kings College in 2009 to compare IQ test scores of multi-tasking people to a focused or single-tasking group of individuals and a group that was single-tasking but stoned. As you might guess the focused group scored 11 points higher on average than the multi-tasking group. But here’s the kicker, the group that was stoned scored 6 points higher than the multi-tasking group!!

There is a saying that if you don’t know where you’re going then any road will get you there. What’s left out of the saying is that you will also feel frustrated and stressed all along the way. No thank you. Don’t sign me up for that trip!

Take Action: Whether you’re already working on a project or getting ready to start one, stop and ask what the end goal is. Then write it down with tangible metrics and a time frame so you’ll know when you’re finished and can celebrate.

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