linked in
Dec 22, 2020 | Post by: Jack Altschuler No Comments

Of Course You Do

Jabbering about multitasking was all the rage as cell phones began to blanket the world. There was talk of greater productivity because doing two things at once would quite obviously cut the time needed to accomplish both. Just do the math, right? Turns out what was obvious just ain’t so, and, oddly, there is a huge price that we pay for our task doubling.

Let’s start with the basics: there’s no such thing as multitasking. What actually happens is that our brain rapidly shifts back and forth between the tasks and the result is counter-intuitive: It actually takes more time to complete the tasks that way than if they had been done sequentially. But that’s not the important part.

The studies have shown that when we multitask we actually do a lower quality job of both chores.

So, when you drive and talk on your cell phone, you’re actually doing a lower quality job of holding up your end of the conversation, but, far worse, you’re doing a terrible job of driving. In fact, study after study have shown that talking on your phone while driving is the safety equivalent of driving drunk. Actually, it’s worse. And, no, it doesn’t matter if you’re holding your phone to your face or using hands-free, because the problem isn’t your hands; it’s your distracted brain.

Here’s the point for your leadership.

You’re poring over a spreadsheet and Bob raps on your office door, saying, “Got a minute?” And of course you do, so Bob sits down and starts to say his piece, but your eyes are on and off your computer monitor. Bob asks if you’re listening and you say that you are.

But Bob knows he’s only getting a small piece of your attention and because he’s a human being he doesn’t like being blown off, which is exactly how he feels. In other words, you tried to multitask and did a lousy job of listening and chipped away at your relationship with Bob. Plus, of course, when he leaves you have little idea what he was talking about and your spreadsheet now has errors in it.

So, focus solely on listening when people are talking to you. It will make all the difference. It’s what great leaders do.

See Fully Alive Leadership Practice #3.

Invite Jack to Speak!

Whether it's a keynote presentation for your annual meeting or the industry convention, or the workshop for your leadership team, Jack delivers actionable content that goes down easy and delivers great value. Check into the possitilities here.


Copyright 2021 by Jack Altschuler and Fully Alive Leadership. All rights reserved. Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

What do you think?

Keep the conversation going by both adding your comments and by passing this along to three colleagues. That’s how we all improve.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up for Blog Email Alerts

* indicates required

twitter facebook linked in

  • Categories:
  • RSS Feed


    jacks schedule