by Adam Zack — May 6, 2020
I always thought multitasking was a positive thing. I’m so good I can read emails, talk on the phone and clip my nails at the same time. I can feed the dog, watch TV and bake cookies all at once. I can drive and text and listen to music while also scratching that itch on my foot. It’s a great thing to be able to do multiple things at once, right? It’s efficiency. It saves time. And it’s never boring, right? About six months ago I was going through emails and talking to DW at the same time. Somehow it came up in the conversation that I was multitasking. Wasn’t I a good employee, being able to do several things at once! He stated that he wasn’t a fan of multitasking. I didn’t understand why, nor was I present enough in the conversation to ask, but it did stick with me.
It wasn’t until a recent Heart of Leadership conference that I finally learned why multitasking is not a positive trait for a great leader. The instructor pointed out that when you are doing multiple things at once, nothing gets 100%. In fact, it’s impossible. I can’t be a good listener if I am doing something else. I can’t effectively solve problems, or do my best work when I am not 100% present in the activity. It makes perfect sense now. It only took 50 years and the insight and wisdom of a great teacher to understand it, but better late than never, right?
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