The other day, one of my clients shared that they were having trouble getting stuff done and focusing.
Have you ever been there? I have!
They told me they’d start one task and then remember they had something else to get done, so they tried to do them both at once…
The result? It was impossible.
So in the end, they didn’t finish either of the tasks. Why? Because they were trying to multitask.
But really it wasn’t multitasking…
Did you know that multitasking is actually scientifically proven to be impossible?
Human beings are simply incapable of performing two high-level tasks at once. We just aren’t wired that way.
So when this person said they were multitasking, what did they mean? They were switching back and forth between two things.
And this, my friend, often does more harm than good. It requires a lot of energy to switch from one task to another. And then to come back to it and remember what you were doing takes even more energy.
Think about it like this.
There’s clearly a difference between starting a new series on Netflix and binge-watching it versus starting a new series, pausing it in the middle of an episode, watching something else, and then going back and forth between two shows.
It simply doesn’t make sense. It takes more brainpower to remember what was going on in each show because you’re constantly getting interrupted.
It just doesn’t flow. And it’s the same way when we try to do several things at once. You know that quote that says the hardest part of getting a task done is simply starting?
Imagine starting new tasks while leaving other tasks unfinished. And then starting new ones again.
Once our mind begins something new, it hones in on that thing. And it’s hard to go back and forth.
Despite what you may have heard about the effectiveness of “multitasking,” it makes sense that jumping from task to task isn’t nearly as effective as honing in on one task until it’s completed.
I want to share this with you because I know in my own life, sustained focus has been really important to me.
It’s allowed me to keep my eye on the prize and to really deliver on what I say I’m going to.
If you find yourself struggling with your productivity or focus, my tip to you is this: next time you have to complete something, try shutting everything else out and set a timer to complete what you need to get done.
When you set a timer, you know that there is a beginning time and an end time, and your brain will hone in on whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish within that time. It’s as simple as that.
You’re giving yourself enough space to think, but not too much space. You know that there’s a deadline. And when we set deadlines, we’re much more likely to accomplish things.
I encourage you to test out this method and let me know how it works for you!