I am old enough to remember the time when multitasking was often a requirement in job ads. Nowadays, I have at least the impression that it is not so much so anymore.
In any case, if you feel like multitasking, you are asked to multitask, you are looking for someone who multitasks, this study is a good reminder of why that is not a good idea.
- Multitaskers are often people who struggle to block out distraction, and therefore it is very difficult for them to focus and enter in a state of flow.
- Multitaskers are high sensation seekers, they are impulsive, and do not like to plan.
- Multitaskers tend to overestimate their capability to multitask.
- Multitaskers are not among those who are better at multitasking effectively (i.e., if you do not multitask frequently, you have better chances to be effective at multitasking in the occasion that is needed).
You are free to set some rules, to decide where the boundaries are, and what game you are playing. Actually, it is your responsibility. You should do that.
And once that is done, the next step is for you to figure out who is in and who is out, and for others to figure whether they are in or out.
You can’t be everything to everybody.
Take ownership of the process.
The reason why your value prop is full of “and”, your product is full of features, and your strategy is full of verticals and use cases (and exceptions to both), is that we are biased towards additive solutions.
We think that adding is better than subtracting when we look for solutions.
Of course, it is not.
But convincing others will always need a lot of work.
One problem with shortcuts is that they work.
If your sales are flatlining, a discount will probably boost them.
If you are nearing the deadline, cramming all the info you have in a format that is difficult to read will probably allow you to make it.
If you need more visitors, a catchy headline will probably get you more clicks.
If you want that bonus, you will probably get it with a good enough job.
If you want to be noticed, blabbering for 20 uninterrupted minutes in the next meeting will probably make people remember you.
Shortcuts work. And that’s pretty much where their utility ends.
They are not a basis for your next leap, a foundation on which you can build your future, a stone to step on to get closer to the change you wish to make.
Shortcuts are in the moment. And living one shortcut at a time can be an exhausting addiction.
Time to stop now.
Change cannot be imposed.
You can force people to do certain things instead of others. You can persuade them to think in a certain way. You can threaten them with punishments or incentivize them with rewards. You can get compliance and meet standards. You can shout, cry, beat, chase, restrict, and silence.
None of that is change.
Change can only start from within.
And if you want to direct change towards what is good for the community, you need to involve each and everyone in the process.