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Are You Taking On Too Much At Once?

When you engage in multi-tasking, the results can be quite less than satisfying

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It’s understandable these days that many people, faced with a unique set of circumstances, brought on by mask and vaccination mandates, are grappling with ways to get things done. When one attempts to take on too much at once, however, and perhaps engages in multi-tasking, the results can be quite less than satisfying.

Consider this: A magnifying glass held up at the correct angle to the sun will quickly burn a whole through a piece of paper. At the same time, no matter how much sun shines through your office window onto your desk, none of those long and tedious memos are going to catch on fire. The lack of combustibility has nothing to do with the way the manufacturer engineered this flat piece of glass.

In our current era of multi-taskers, concentration and focus are underrated. Multi-tasking is occasionally helpful and seemingly satisfying but, along with the shower of information and communication overload, represents a paradoxical impediment to getting things done. Let’s see why.

More Speed, Less Comprehension

The term multitasking evolved from the computer industry, the early mainframe computers designed with parallel processes is perhaps the prime example of automated multi-tasking. Today, with the typical office professional sending or receiving more than 200 messages a day, counting all forms of communication, and all of them coming and going at shorter intervals, a generation of career professionals are being driven virtually to distraction.

Facing information and communication overload, ever-advancing technology, and more choices than anyone needs or even wants, nearly an entire workforce generation has been ‘taught’ to multitask as if this is the way it has always been, needs to be, and always will be. We offer our attention here, there, and then somewhere else. Like a one-man band, we get our strokes from strumming the guitar, tapping our foot, and blowing on the harmonica.

Too often, we equate flapping our wings, stirring up a lot of commotion, and making a lot of noise with accomplishment. We can barely tolerate stillness. For many, silence doesn’t appear to be golden, it seems more like a dark space. Undivided attention is a term that has fallen out of popular use.

Generally, we feel guilty if we don’t multi-task! We contemplate our increasing workloads and responsibilities and how they are subject to continual shifts, and justify multi-tasking as a valid response to a world of flux.

The Task at Hand

Despite the temptation to do otherwise, focusing on the task at hand is vital to getting things done. Whether there’s a handful of tasks confronting you, or ideally only one, give all your time, attention, energy, focus, concentration, effort, and all that good stuff to the task at hand, and then turn to what’s next.

Multi-tasking seemingly enables one to achieve time-saving benefits, but does it? While some people remain relatively unscathed by multi-tasking and can get as much done in the course of the workday, most people suffer in ways they don’t even understand.

Rather than increasing their productivity, multi-tasking diminishes it. They make more mistakes. They leave too many things undone. Their quality of work is not what it could be. And the list of potential hazards of multi-tasking is beginning to grow. Are you a victim to any of the following:

* Gaps in short-term memory?
* Loss of concentration?
* Problems communicating with co-workers?
* Lapses in attentiveness?
* Stress symptoms such as shortness of breath?

Crash Mode

When multi-tasking, sometimes your brain can go into a crash mode. This is characterized by not being able to remember what you just said or did, or what you’re going to do next! This has been termed “having a senior moment,” but it’s no joke and it doesn’t only happen to seniors.

Professor David Meyer at the University of Michigan has established a link between chronic high-stress, multi-tasking and loss of short-term memory. “There is scientific evidence that multi-tasking is extremely hard for someone to do, and sometimes impossible,” he says. Then, the time lost switching between tasks tends to increase the perceived complexity of the tasks and often results in making a person less efficient than if he had chosen to focus on one task or project at time.

Research conducted at the National Institute of Mental Health confirms that when the brain has to juggle several tasks at once or in rapid succession, it has to overcome “inhibitions” that it put in place to cease doing the task. It’s as if the brain is taking its foot off the break.

The Vital Keys

Focus and concentration will be your keys for getting things done. Multi-tasking, as it is popularly understood and practiced, is not your answer. It is expensive in terms of the level of stress induced and the rise in errors and, hence, can actually hamper productivity.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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News

Can the Party of “No” Beat the Party of “Free?”

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Have you noticed the rhetoric, “At least we have the House to stop some of Biden’s crazy plans!” The GOP’s keyword is “STOP.” Have you noticed that the Democrats have positioned themselves as the party of more “FREE” gifts from the government?

The GOP wants to cut budgets, cut government jobs, stop abortions, stop illegal aliens crossing the border, stop election cheating, stop student loan giveaways….and the list goes on. The Democrats have effectively positioned the GOP as the party of “NO!”

With a small margin in the House, Biden’s veto, and a likely Democrat Senate virtual majority, the Republicans face a difficult challenge. How do you shape a narrative that can win in 2024 and minimize the damage that the Democrats can do until then?

It starts by capitalizing on an issue that Republicans have been reticent to exploit-school choice. Have you noticed that the youngest voters went Democrat in every state? We have let the Democrats control public schools. Teacher unions have used their money and influence to ensure adequate funding. The result is clear-the youth under their influence have rejected the responsible values of their parents. The young lack confidence in their ability to make free-enterprise work, and they like government entitlements, rent relief, and promises of student loan forgiveness. In short, they have settled for the party of “FREE”-the Democrats!

School choice wasn’t even part of the Republican’s Commitment to America. Our leaders missed its role in Youngkin’s win in Virginia. It’s time to start becoming the party of “YES” to school choice. Many minority parents feel trapped in underperforming schools, and they want better schools for their children. Conservatives want an end to the indoctrination of liberal values that public schools provide. In short, it’s time to embrace school choice as a central focus in the GOP’s 2024 campaign.

There is no question that the issue of abortion also played a key role in impacting the Republican gains in the November election. The Democrats were able to turn fears over the Supreme Court reversal of Roe vs Wade into voter turnout in key races. It’s time to be the party of “YES” to reasonable limits on abortion and responsible support for adoption for unwanted children. Most Americans are supportive of reasonable limits on abortion. House Republicans could introduce federal legislation to make abortion after the first trimester illegal. Let the states take the role of considering even more restrictive measures. Make Democrats the party of “NO” to sane abortion limits.

Be the party of “YES” to government support for organizations that provide vulnerable women with support and material resources to help them consider both parenting and adoption. Democrats would have women believe that abortion is their only option. There are parents ready to adopt, and it can be a beautiful experience for all involved. It’s time to convince women to support life for their unborn child by providing loving options instead of trying to force the total elimination of abortion. Abortion disproportionately impacts minorities. To meet the needs of the future, America needs all the births our citizens can bring into this world.

Say “YES” to responsible citizenship-every citizen working to find a satisfying career in pursuit of their true American Dreams instead of settling for government dependence. The Republican message must be strong and clear-we belief in all Americans’ ability to gain their mojo and take back their future. There is no future in dependence-Getting “Free” entitlements are not “Freedom!” Let people know that America is still where the “pursuit of happiness” is not just something to justify a revolution. It is what has made America great and the envy of the world. It is by improving your skills and earning advancements or starting one’s own business that true dreams are achieved. No citizen should settle when she can soar.

Say “YES” to a secure border and legal immigration. America remains the land of opportunity, and we need immigrants. We don’t need millions of illegal immigrants unvetted and unprepared to add value to our country. Stand for completing the building of our Southern border wall and increasing our focus on expanding legal immigration. Republicans must not be against immigrants; we are only against welcoming illegal immigrants who do not honor our immigration process. Americans want a secure border, and they want to be known as a country that welcomes immigrants. Have the strength and wisdom to stand for both.

Say “YES” to law and order. Stand in support of law enforcement and accountability for criminals. Yes, we want fair treatment of all Americans, but citizens are tired of criminals having the upper hand. They want to feel safe in their homes and their businesses. We need DAs who will prosecute criminals instead of letting them go. There is a simple formula for the GOP to reflect most Americans-“Do the crime and do the time!”

Say “YES” to energy independence and an all of the above approach to energy policy. Instead of saying “No” to climate change paranoia, affirm the importance of developing all of our energy resources to be independent of foreign dependence. Capitalizing on all available energy options will also strike a blow at inflation, since the cost of energy impacts all facets of our economy.

If you want to beat the “Party of FREE,” we need to become the “Party of YES” to the things that Americans truly value. It’s time to begin preparing a narrative that can win in 2024. May it be so.

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Elections

Three Things Republicans MUST Do Now

The Republicans have a very important job to do!

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Now that the Republicans have taken the House, they have a few VERY important jobs to do. In this short five minute video, Chris Widener, Founder of PolitiCrossing, makes the case that there are three things the Republicans must do to be successful through 2024 and take back the Senate and the White House as well.

1. Investigate
2. Defund
3. Cast a Positive Vision for America

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