Multitasking—oh how we love it!  Read the job ads, listen to companies’ admonitions to their workers, talk to professional development coaches, and you constantly will hear references to the magic of multitasking.

Multitasking is considered a business necessity, a nonnegotiable that everyone must embrace just to be successful in this new world.  After all, we are just too busy to do only one thing at a time, now aren’t we?

Reality check!  There is no such thing as true multitasking.

Even when you think you are doing it right, you are not.  What you might be good at is shifting your attention from one activity to another very fast.  But the human brain can genuinely concentrate on just one activity at a time.

Increasingly, the latest studies are demonstrating when you think you are multitasking, you are degrading your ability to handle each task correctly and safely.  Your brain and mine are designed to focus intensely on one activity at a time.  When we do that, then we get things done.

Rather than claiming or demanding true multitasking, let’s be honest and just call it what it is: constantly juggling multiple priorities.  In so doing, we recognize that some activities might not receive any attention for a short time so we can concentrate more fully on another activity.  That is okay.  That is a part of our world.  Living in our world constantly involves tradeoffs because priorities change.

My priorities just changed because I want to concentrate on this great dinner in front of me.  Believe me; I want it to receive my full attention.  So that’s all I have to say!

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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