#1: You Can’t Chase Two Rabbits
Ok…have you ever tried to chase two rabbits? My kids have this Nintendo WiiU game called Super Mario 3D World, and in the game, you have to chase a rabbit and catch it to obtain a star. Sometimes the little booger can get away from you, leaving you running in circles. Imagine chasing two rabbits at once! It is virtually impossible to split your attention between two projects without the quality and efficiency suffering.
I used to pride myself on my ability to multitask (before I had kids). I used to work as a bank teller, and I could be working on a multi-tran (deposit into multiple accounts with cash back, sometimes in specific denominations) and at the same time be talking on the phone to another client, while preparing in my head for my sales pitch on how I was going to upsell or cross sell them on additional products and services. That may sound like I had some awesome multitasking skills, but in reality, I was neglecting to serve each of my clients with the level of customer service they deserved. I wasn’t practicing the Golden Rule. I was simply going through the motions and herding them like cattle…as quickly as I could…so that I could move onto the next client. I thought because I had a smile on my face and was courteous that I was doing a good job. And I was praised and even rewarded with a couple of merit raises and awards for it. There’s an old Russian proverb that states
“If you chase two rabbits you will not catch either one”.
#2: You’re Holding Yourself Back
Your potential is unlimited. We all have the same amount of potential. It’s just that some people don’t live up to their potential, or they spend too much time focusing on stuff that doesn’t matter. One of my favorite books OF.ALL.TIME. is Gary Keller’s The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. In fact, I’m reading it right now on Audible! One of my favorite quotes from Gary is “To ignite your life you must focus on ONE Thing long enough for it to catch fire.”. Gary has figured out that “your work life is divided into two distinct areas – what matters most and everything else. You will have to take what matters to the extremes and be okay with what happens to the rest. Professional success requires it.”. It is so so important to focus on the most important “thing”…the “one thing” and let go of the illusion that multitasking equals success.
Another book I really love that helps brings things into focus is “The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents” by Hal Elrod. Full disclosure: I’m a Realtor®, so of course this applies to me, but he has developed the miracle morning for just about every industry, and it’s pretty much the same. He uses an acronym “SAVERS” to get your day started off right. By waking up an hour earlier than usual everyday and devoting 10 minutes to each of the activities in SAVERS (called LifeSAVERS), you will right away begin to feel energized, and you will get more done! You can get The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8am) here.
Feel free to download this free daily planner to get you started on your own Miracle Morning!
#3: Multitasking Pulls you Away from What’s Important
Distractions, Distractions! If I had a dollar for every time my phone notifications went off and sent me in a totally different direction, I’d be rich! Facebook, Instagram, text messages, emails, reminders to put the load of laundry in the dryer (yes, I do that…don’t judge me)….they all pull us away from the task at hand. Try to devote small amounts of time to nothing but the most important thing on your task list. If it ain’t gonna make you money, don’t focus on it. I’m talking about focusing on money generating activities. And if you’re a stay at home mom or dad, I’m talking about focusing on the most productive task that will make your life easier or better (going to the gym every day for an hour, cleaning one room in the house per day, or cooking breakfast for your family every single morning). Think about what’s most important to you and what’s going to make the biggest impact, and do that thing to the best of your ability. If you can only work in short spurts, set a timer for 30 minutes at a time and focus solely on that activity. Silence your phone and get to work! In just a few days, you’ll notice a major shift in productivity and the way you feel! You just gotta get rid of the distractions!
By implementing these strategies the past couple of weeks, I have noticed I’ve completed more tasks, had more energy, and realized what’s truly important and what isn’t. Multitasking is the devil, and it can leave you with a perfection hangover. If you can figure out a schedule that works for you, you’ll feel a huge weight lifted off your shoulders!