Getting off the grid
November 01, 2008
I don't know if it's my age or just the hectic world in which we live, but I find myself making more little mistakes and being less satisfied with my work overall unless I can take the time everyday to be alone and focus on one thing at a time. When I talk about the need for professionals to find alone time or "get off the grid" as much as they can, this is not some new-age, warm-fuzzy mantra, it simply makes good business sense. Especially when it comes to planning a project or a design (or a lesson, etc.), it may be more efficient in the long run to get away from technology for a while (shut off the phones, PDAs, etc.), and talk about or think about one thing at a time. "Be here now, be somewhere else later" as the old saying goes.
Below is a short interview with Nikki McDonald at the Voices That Matter web conference in Nashville, Tennessee in June of this year (click the image to go to the video on the Amazon site). Following that is a short video of a news story on multitasking from NBC News this week.
A few thoughts on the idea of slowing down and getting off the grid (click image to see video on the Amazon site).
— NBC News: The Myth of Multi-tasking
• Also checkout Dr. John Medina's ideas on multitasking on the Brain Rules website.
I used to have the same feeling: just get of the train. I even started to question the meaning of my life; until one day, when I decided to take control and start my own business. At the end of the day, I think you need to ask yourself: Is it better to do ten mediocre things or one really great? Even if that one is just some thinking in solitude? As an employee, that's seldom your decision to make. Companies turn out massive amounts of mediocre products and services to their customers. As an employee, it's often more important to appear to be doing things, than actually do them. As a CEO, you need to ask yourself: Is it sensible to have ten different models of mobile phones, or should we concentrate on one or two and put everything into that? We are definitely not over-served when it comes to quality in products and services.
Posted by: Jan | November 01, 2008 at 04:36 PM
Must be getting old too!!! I find myself also in the need to slow down in order to focus, mainly when faced with a need for creativity and planning. It is essential, then things just flow better.
Posted by: Luis Iturriaga | November 01, 2008 at 09:29 PM
Dr. Media's work confirms that multi-tasking is something humans are not good at. I run a busy office, and interruptions are simply part of life. But I'm a big fan of finishing each project completely before starting another.
Posted by: Michael Sporer | November 01, 2008 at 10:27 PM