Focus and Let Your Brain Breath



It seems as though many of my blog readers keep asking about my thoughts and comments on multitasking. I thought I would share another person’s personal views about the topic. Of course, her story reinforces my views, and research results, about the harm multitasking does to our brain and our quality of work.

A director level leader of a Fortune 500 company kept asking herself every day “How much can I get done today?” She would scribble notes on her to-do list and throughout her day frantically trying to get it all done. Let’s call her Sally

It wasn’t until Sally had a coaching session that her life and outlook changed. She began to see that her behavior was actually manifesting the exact opposite of what her intentions were; in actuality, Sally was accomplishing less because she was spending just as much time, if not more time, on menial tasks and multitasking versus those tasks that could truly move her forward. Both her business and personal life suffered as a result. I would say that she was into “busyness”.


Multitasking was slowing Sally down and impacting her focus. Through conversations with her consultant, it became obvious to her that multitasking was just keeping her busy with sense of feeling productive. And she learned that contrary to what we all think, there is NO such thing as multitasking: only switching from one thing to another very quickly! To shift Sally’s paradigm she would need to answer the tough and uncomfortable question, “What do I really want?” By narrowing her scope to the most important items, she could reduce the number of things she needed to get done in any given day and take more control.

The thought of giving up a lifestyle that She would become so accustomed to was a difficult pill to swallow. Remember, “Nothing really changes unless you get uncomfortable.” Sally’s identity revolved around this manic state of multitasking. Who was she without it? How would people react to a calmer, more focused Sally? What would happen if she didn’t respond immediately? Sally worked her way through these questions and started to make the changes in her habits, image and behavior.

After shifting to a more focused approach, Sally’s relationships and results improved. People now get her undivided attention, projects are progressing because she’s taking action, she’s no longer bogged down in day-to-day distractions, and Sally feels relief from the pressure of feeling like she has to get it all done today. Sally now says, “I’m proud to say I’m a “monotasker”!woman-victory-against-sky.jpg

We all have a choice as to what we want to change. We should all take time to slow down and review our habits, relationships with others, and actions we can take to improve our productivity and lifestyle.


Part of this story was from McGhee.

About Bud Roth

Bud is a seasoned executive with over 25 years experience working with Fortune 500 companies. Roth Consulting Group LLC focuses on team and executive coaching, organizational renewal, expatriate support, and improving leadership performance. Bud's recently published book, Be More Productive – Slow Down, suggests methods of reflection and actions that guide us to regain control of our busy life and reduce stress by slowing down.

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