If there is one word that is wrongly misinterpreted and abused in work-life, it is the term multi-tasking.
Having been appreciated by the team on being good at multi tasking, I think back now and reflect. Is multi-tasking a polished word for being distracted?
To say upfront, doing too many things at the same time is NOT multi-tasking.
There were time when the job description had this word, almost in every openings. It reads like the following:
- ability to multi-task
- excellent multi-tasking capabilities
- to be able to get multiple things done at once
…and so on. It use to be so funny reading those descriptions.
Thankfully, the jobs section almost got rid of this word nowadays as people started realizing the true meaning of it.
If you want to be truly productive, then focus on the task at hand and just that.
The following points could help being productive and less distracted.
* Having a precisetime to start and stop things.
* I was surprised to see one of my colleagues who marked his objective and goal settings for the coming year with the following point: “come and go on time”. Do we need to say more?
* Switch off your gadgets when attending meetings and trainings. Gone is the time when people wondered at the person who kept sending texts and checking emails during meeting or training hours. They are now perceived either as a show off or the one who is not so efficient. Switch them off and ye shall realize that the world won’t turn apart.
* Focus on one task at a given point of time and just that, nothing else.
What is true multi-tasking then?
There isn’t any I am afraid. Like the computer makes you feel that it processes multiple requests at the same time, but only one thing gets executed at a given point of time. Likewise, focus on the task at hand.
Example from The MahaBharata
Dronacharya asked the Kuru princes on what they see, pointing to the wooden bird target kept amidst the branches. Everyone said they saw everything, the tree,branches, leaves, the other princes around them, even including Dronacharya, in addition to the target. The only exception being Arjuna. He saw only the bird, no, not the bird, but only the neck of the bird which Dronacharya asked to aim. This is a perfect example for focus and concentration but I found it apt for focusing on one thing at a time too.
Focus on the task at hand. You will know that you are able to accomplish much more in a shorter span of time than running here and there doing small bit of everything and having done nothing as a whole.
Questions to the reader:
I am sure you must be adapting some techniques that you find useful and time saving. Why don’t you share them here for the benefit of us all?