We destroy our concentration by
multitasking the moment and our peace away. Multitasking is a myth!
If you watch a lioness hunting in the
wild, she will focus on one wildebeest. She never focuses on two – because she
knows the odds of missing both are stacked against her. She is single minded and
does everything in her power to achieve her goal. In the circus when they train
lions, they put a chair in front of their face to control their behavior. This
confuses the lion and divides their attention. Now they have four chair legs to
focus on, and they go into a type of trance. We humans are the same. Our brain
can really only focus on one thing at a time. It is impossible to focus on two
things at the same time. When you are multitasking, you are actually switching
between tasks, you are always semi-attending, and it is not very effective. We
cannot do more than one thing well at a time. It has become one of the most
damaging myths out there.
We are training our brains to have an
attention deficit. A lot of people simply cannot focus for an extended period of
time anymore. I have heard that the average person looks at their mobile phone
about 50 times a day. We are reading emails, the news, Facebook, and twitter
etc., during what should be family and relationship time. People these days even
drive while talking on a phone. Driving with a mobile phone makes you hit the
brakes 0.5 seconds slower. If you are travelling at 112km per hour, in
0.5seconds you travel 15.5 meters… a lot can happen over that distance. If you
are distracted in your car, you have a 9 times higher chance of having an
accident. When your phone rings, you don’t have to pick it up… that’s why
voice mail was invented!
Neuroscience consultant Marilee Springer
says, “Multi-tasking is known to slow people down
by 50% and add 50% more mistakes.” Multi-tasking is
like putting your brain on drugs. There is a whole body of research that shows
that multitasking is less productive, makes you less creative, and contributes
to you making bad decisions.
We are also not allowing ourselves to sit
and enjoy the moment anymore. Blaise Pascal said, “All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in
a room alone.” We get in the car, and we
have to put the radio
on. When we arrive home we have to put the TV on. When we watch TV, we flip through the channels.
We even lack enough attention to watch the commercials. We are constantly
filling our minds with conflict. Most people allow their attention to be pulled
in different directions; very few people direct their attention. A lack of
attention direction is
the real disorder.
Stop overwhelming yourself by continually
changing the channels of your mind. Sharpen up your intellect by returning to
the habit of doing one thing at a time. Rediscover the value of consecutive
tasking, instead of settling for the quality dilution associated with
simultaneous tasking. Exceptional work is always associated with periods of deep
concentration. Nothing excellent ever comes from a scattered effort. When you
are all there, your brain power and resources will be all there, too.