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9 Comments

The Myth of Multitasking: Why Fewer Priorities Leads to Better Work

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    The book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown was pivotal to helping me understand this. The idea he conveys is that if you have multiple priorities, you have no priority. The second you pluralize "priority", the word becomes essentially meaningless. Since then I've completely changed my thinking around "priorities". I may have a list of things I need to do, but I only ever have 1 priority, and that is the task I work on first, once done, I decide what my next priority is.

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      "The idea he conveys is that if you have multiple priorities, you have no priority. " I like this phrase, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I can also recommend The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller.

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    I have a queue of work at my job. I work on the top priority until I hit a blocker or it's done. Then I work on the next one. etc.

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    I've seen these ideas somewhere...

    Multitasking is bad (it's even impossible), but I can't stay on one task all day long either. I get distracted after one hour most of the time, or it's too tiring for me.

    That's why I have more than one priority, to switch every hour between them. For example, I could do project A for one hour, take a break, project B for two hours ('cause I'm very motivated for project B), take a break, come back to project A or go to project C.

    Oh, and if you never unfocus, you'll have difficulties to be creative (and you'll be exhausted). Focusing is not something you should always do.

    I don't want more than 3/4 priorities, depending on the size of the task, if they are complementary, and how difficult they are. But you know what? There is no universal truth. There is yours. Experiment, explore, and see what's better for you.

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    I'm always combating multitasking vs. focusing on one thing. This is a great read, thanks for sharing!

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    Good & important read.

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      Thanks, and agree, an important but often overlooked issue.

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