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Your Email Coach

In Praise Of Single-Tasking

Checking email during meetings.  Talking on the phone while driving.  Working at home, and juggling home at work.  Multi-tasking is the mode of the day.  So often we have more than one thing we're doing...and do they all get done well, thoroughly, and with the attention they deserve?  My observation is that things get done better when they get done one at a time.  So I'll ask you,

     What happens when you focus?

What is it like when you really listen to someone else?  Most of us know what it is like to be in a conversation with someone who is checking their email or digging through a pile of papers while you talk.  If you put away the blackberry or log off email and really listen to the other person, you learn more and they feel heard and understood. 

When you have a complex task to do, what happens to the quality of your work when you set aside dedicated time to work on it?  It probably gets done better, faster, and with a greater sense of pleasure.

The main output of multi-tasking is increased stress, a feeling of pressure, and a sense of fragmentation.  When you think about it, this is a logical outcome of shifting moment by moment from one thing to another.  Because all we really have is the present, and we really only can do one thing at a time. Instead of rapid fire shifting, try giving yourself time to focus on one thing at a time, bringing each task or interaction to a satisfying conclusion.

Liz Reyer, President RCC - Posted November 19, 2007
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