Friday, May 14, 2010

Focus - Concentrate on one thing at a time.

When you have a lot to do, it’s tempting to multi-task. But you’ll actually get more done if you concentrate on one thing at a time. In this video I explain why focusing your attention is more productive than trying to handle multiple priorities simultaneously. You’ll come to appreciate the wisdom from Norman Vincent Peale: "When every physical and mental resource is focused - one's power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously."

How can you structure your day to eliminate distractions and concentrate on one priority at a time?
“Just say ‘No’ to others and to yourself when you find you are being tempted to deviate from your priorities.” - Chin-Ning Chu, American author

"The effectiveness of work increases according to geometrical progression if there are no interruptions." - André Maurois, French author

"Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets." - Nido Qubein, American professional speaker and author


  1. Thanks very much for challenging the popular notion that multi-tasking is a desirable attribute. Unfortunately, multi-tasking has often been perceived as a characteristic of energetic, hard-working, and goal-driven workers; a necessity to get things done in a competitive, time-to-market world. We're beginning to see, however, that multi-tasking is not necessarily the ideal work style that it's been thought to be. Not everyone is comfortable with multi-tasking, and constantly having to juggle multiple tasks can have serious consequences as far as employee morale and product quality. I'm convinced that the freedom to focus on one task at a time is better for both us and for our customers. When we can truly focus on the work we are doing, why we are doing it, and how it will benefit our customer, everyone wins.

  2. Lori, thank you for offering your perspective regarding additional downsides to multi-tasking. Excellent point about the positive impact on customers when a person is allowed to focus. It's a necessity, not a luxury.

  3. It depends on the type of role. If you are supervising people that need a lot of interaction. You need multi-tasking. Your team has to be self sufficient without having to drag everybody along. If you are the president of a small business or a founder of a startup you need multi-tasking since you have to do many roles. If you are an employee with a single role you need single-tasking to get things done aka GSD.
    I believe there is a balance between both called focused-tasking in a multi-role position while setting some type of office hours for meetings or questions from team members and using the Pomodoro technique.


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