Why multitasking sucks

By Chris Rugh | November 20, 2009

iStock 000009373675XSmall 150x150 Why multitasking sucksIt’s tremendously important for business people to focus on a single task. Multitasking is overrated. In fact, multitasking sucks.

Look around and you’ll see that one of the biggest killers of success for entrepreneurs is when they go out and they pick up one project, and two projects, and three projects, and four projects. And five projects. Eventually they have so many projects on their plates that they never get any of them done with any success.

When I was starting out as an entrepreneur, in my early 20s, I met an older business person who was telling me about his business and how successful he was.

I said “Well, I have six companies.”

He kind of grinned. And he asked, “Well, young man, how many of of those companies are making money?”

I looked at him and said, “Wow. Few. Actually, none. As a matter of fact, I’m poor, and I live in the ghetto.”

Talking with that guy was a epiphany for me. I thought, hey, maybe what I need to do is narrow down and focus.

I took me another 10 or 15, years to be able to narrow my focus to the point where I was doing just one, two, or three things. And I still, to this day, have trouble focusing on one single task.

However, I find that when I can focus on that single task — that single project, that single business, that single income stream — I am far more successful than I am when I have multiple projects pulling at me. If a project is worth my doing it, it’s worth my full and undivided attention.

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  • By Chris Pollick, November 22, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

    As a writer, I have to concur. Focus is crucial for the creative process, and I have to believe that entreprenurialism is a creative process. When one is not focused on what one is creating, the substance tends to get lost. Creation without substance is a waste of time.

  • By Karolyn McKinley, November 23, 2009 @ 11:27 am

    I totally agree Chris. I’m reminded of that same advice as it applies to meditation. If you don’t learn to focus your attention first, you will never make any headway when it comes to the contemplation part, your monkey mind will take you places far afield from the deeper realizations you can have when your mind stays in one place. Same with work, going deep vs. wide is much better in the long run.

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