Multitasking Utopia and the Art of Focus

Multitasking Utopia and the Art of Focus

posted in: Personal Development | 0

Let me share with you something that I’m working on right now. This is something that has been one of my weak sides for a long time. It is also something I didn’t realize was a weak side until recently.

When applying for jobs one thing that is most of the time desired is being good at multitasking. This however is a quite strange request since all research made on the subject says that multitasking leads to a decrease in productivity no matter who you are. In fact persons who think they are good at multitasking have according to some studies shown to be even worse at it compared to other people.

I am generally a very curious person and I think so many things are interesting. My head is always full of ideas and things I want to do or learn. So I end up trying to learn or work with a hundred different projects without finishing or getting very good at anything. Now for me as for everyone else the day has only 24 hours. So time never seems to be enough.

To be really good at something it is very important to keep focus. So if you are like me you may have to start prioritizing more. What is really important in your life and what gives you the greatest results? There is a rule called the 80/20 rule. Basically the concept here is that 20% of the effort will produce 80% of the total results and the other 80% will only produce 20% of the overall results. This can also be used in many other situations such as 20% of the worlds population own 80% of the wealth, 20% of your customers will produce 80% of your revenue etc. So it’s important to find the 20% that gives you the best results or satisfaction and do more of it. Then also letting go of many things in the 80% that don’t give you the results you want. Sometimes it can be really hard to let go and you ask yourself “Do I really have to let this client go” or “What will happen if I stop doing this?”. Most of the time you will be just fine. As an example of this I want to do so many things but have decided to start with only a few before I move on, instead of jumping around to different things. These are that I wanted to start a blog and I want to record some saxophone tracks to use as a reference when finding gigs. I am also very fond of listening to personal or business development podcasts when commuting or driving. Here I have started to focus more on podcasts dedicated to the music industry and related skills.

One thing I can recommend is to sit down and write down some questions about your business or passion and then answer them to yourself. Ask yourself what your business is really about and what you should focus on. This will help you structure your thoughts. Some questions could be:

  • What am I really passionate about?
  • Which are my greatest strengths?
  • Why do I do what I do?
  • What is my goal?
  • How will I achieve it?
  • What will give me the best results?
  • Which of all the things I do will make the other things easier or obsolete?

Then when you have decided what to focus on it’s time to start executing. The first thing you should do to really get things going is to set your final goal. Then ask yourself how you will get there. If the steps are to big break them down into smaller steps. Do this again and again until each step is very easy and achievable. As an example most people wouldn’t know how to build a big record company from scratch but everyone can find which record company their favourite artists belong to and google it’s history, find a person to ask about which software is good for recording music or find a band to ask where they printed or distributed their latest album. Then just continue with these small tasks. Make sure you do at least something everyday even if it’s not something big and they will finally take you to your goal.

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