Recently I found and I am still finding a lot of articles and books about the value of focusing. They all make it clear that multi-tasking is from hell.
What Is Multi-Tasking and When Is It Bad?
Some years ago multi-tasking came up in the computer world. Real multi-tasking works if a device possesses two processors (CPUs). Most computers only have one micro-processor. What they do is called multi-threading. This means they are working on one task at the time. Let’s say you were surfing the Internet and now you want to open your text programme. The CPU keeps the Internet alive (threading) while it takes care of the text programme. Threading requires a little bit of the CPU’s time.
It is quite similar in our brains. Of course we can walk and discuss a problem with someone simultaneously. The reason is that these two activities occupy different areas in our brain.
Did you ever try discussing an issue with someone and reading a book at the same time? Needless to say that it will not work for most of us.
If we are trying to accomplish this we jump from reading to discussing and back. And every time we interrupt our reading it takes us a moment to find “our” line again. So both processes are slowed down.
Yes, I admit I fell for the stylish book cover and for the title.
But when I started reading I could not stop anymore. The book is about focusing by which we not only would reach our targets but even go beyond our wildest dreams. The author claims that you have to go very small to end up really big.
Very small means that we have to concentrate on the ONE thing we want to achieve next. As a metaphor he (the author) uses the domino effect. When the first domino falls it touches the next and this one hits its neighbour etc. While the movement is very slow at the beginning it gains an incredible momentum towards the end of the “domino journey”.
Google became powerful with one thing: data retrieval. J. K. Rowling said in a speech that she became successful when she concentrated on the one thing that mattered to her. We know the result: Harry Potter.
Although I do a lot of multi-tasking (the “slowing-down” kind) I do see the value of focusing on the ONE thing.
The challenge is to find the ONE thing that makes us the happiest, the most successful or whatever we want. I am still working on this.