3 Things at Once = Not much gets done

Multi-tasking your goals

Multi-tasking, not good

Without fail, one of my biggest challenges to staying on track with the various goals I’ve set is that I love to put too many things on my plate.

Ever do that?

It never fails that instead of motivating me to get more done, it just distracts me. Doing a Daily Agenda helps, but the longer the list the more I think I need to do three things at once (that’s really the issue).

Research has shown repeatedly that we really can’t multitask. Groups who are given multiple tasks have been measured against groups instructed to do one task, finish it, then move on to a new task. In the vast majority of cases the “one thing at a time” group outperforms the multi-tasking group.

The exception is that there are some times when the tasks themselves are suited to multi-tasking, when there’s a natural pause in the process where it makes sense to move onto something else briefly. But by and large, picking on thing and sticking to it until done is the smart choice.

These facts and ideas are present in just about every article published on productivity yet it still creeps back into my “bad habits” from time to time.

Clearly personal development is a journey, not a destination. We just have to take it one day at a time and not let up. The thing life is trying to teach me today is “one thing at a time”. I hope there’s not a test. 🙂

  1. Having a Daily Agenda – $100
  2. Tying the daily tasks to my goals – $75
  3. Following the plan – $50
  4. Focusing on one thing, and only one thing, at a time – Priceless!

One Response to “3 Things at Once = Not much gets done”

  1. The MultiTasking Myth | Achieving Personal Goals says:

    […] months ago, I wrote this post about the fallacy of trying to do two, or even worse three things at once. I’m well familiar with the hazards of this, as I have to be reminded frequently that I […]