Rifle vs Shotgun: The downside of MultiTasking

Using firearms as a metaphor can be dangerous in today's world, but I think the comparison of a shotgun vs a rifle is appropriate, at least from an outcome perspective when talking about multitasking.  

Shotguns are adept at spreading a wide range of small pellets in order to try and hit a target.  Rifles require a greater deal of focus and resolve because the target area will be much smaller.  The photos below show the difference between what shotguns provide versus a rifle.

Shotgun Target        Rifle Target

It is obvious when you look at the targets to see that the focus of a shotgun pales in comparison with the focus of a rifle.  Multitasking resembles the shotgun target, with impacts here, there and everywhere and little concentration.  Knowing this, the impact of multi-tasking is less than you might prefer when using a more focused "rifle" approach.

Research is also showing that multi-tasking can be hazardous to your well being and health.  Travis Bradberry captured many areas of concern in an article he penned for Forbes and it cites research from reputable sources such as Stanford University.  Here are a few of the areas of concern he mentions:

  • multitasking lowers IQ
  • multitasking can result in brain damage

You can learn more about the challenges with multitasking by reading the article; just click on the link.It just makes sense to focus on one thing at a time.  In another recent reading, one which escapes me, the author goes on to say that research shows that none of us really multitask, we just move quickly from one to another, but never focus on more than one at a time.juggling.jpgMy encouragement for you today is to focus.  Deal with one issue at a time, get it where you want it, and then move on.

This will lead to greater success and less frustration.

Trust me, I know.