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Multitasking Renders You Less Productive

Multitasking sends a message to your subconscious that this is how you must proceed to stay competitive and succeed

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Dividing your attention to complete multiple activities at once can make you less effective at everything you’re doing.

From CEOs to newbie hires, everyone has numerous tasks to manage throughout the course of a day, week, month, and year. The multitude of responsibilities on your plate requires the capacity for self-management, time management, and the effective allocation of your resources. However, don’t confuse legitimate workplace skills with the contemporary, ill-advised phenomenon called multitasking.

A False Promise

Multitasking might appear to be a reliable way to tackle many issues that compete for your time and attention. It seems intuitive that if you can juggle both A and B concurrently, you’re achieving a productivity gain and saving significant time. But the fallacy in that argument is surmising that the human brain can double-up or triple-up on tasks with no loss of attention, focus, or effectiveness.

A plethora of psychological studies have shown that the human brain can only give “sharp attention” in one direction at a time. Seeking to give this level of attention in multiple directions yields a reverberating type of attention allotted to each activity and predictably results in a loss of mental acuity and productivity.

A clear example of multitasking is when you’re driving along the highway and speaking on a smartphone. Even if you switch to the hands-free speaker phone feature, both activities compete for your brain’s vital sharp attention. So you execute neither activity as effectively as you could by undertaking one activity at a time. It’s also prudent to point out that driving while talking on the phone-hands-free or not-contributes to distracted driving and an elevated rate of vehicular accidents.

Multitasking Coexists Best With Routine

Certainly, it’s okay to multitask while completing some repetitive and familiar work activities. You can run a print job while you work with a file on your screen, for example. As long as the printer has adequate toner and the paper feeds through as designed, there is no deficit in multitasking in this manner.

Nevertheless, for whatever task you are attempting to handle, the fact that you are running a print job at the same time is likely to diminish your overall effectiveness.

The loss in mental acuity will be relatively minor, and you might not even be aware of it. The real risk of workplace multitasking, however, is that you never quite retreat to that mental space where you can offer concerted concentration and, hence, your best work. But if you trace your actions over time, you’ll likely see that for the larger tasks you executed effectively, you stopped multitasking and focused on the task at hand.

Sending the Wrong Message

Multitasking sends a message to your subconscious that this is the way you have to proceed to stay competitive and succeed. When multitasking becomes ingrained in your psyche, you’re telling yourself deep down that you can’t make it in your chosen profession any other way. You end up missing the benefits derived from practicing the art of “doing one thing at a time.”

Multitaskers have trouble “seeing the forest for the trees” and often fail to focus on the most critical components of their day-to-day operations, abandoning less palatable tasks because they require creativity, concentration, and analysis.

As an everyday practice, repeated often, multitasking separates those who continually scramble to keep pace from those who rise to the top.

Avoid the Bind

Since we all face multiple priorities on the job, it’s easy to equate managing multiple priorities with multitasking. The larger and more vital the task, the more essential to focus on it intently. Practice doing one thing at a time. When you’ve finished a project or have taken it as far as you can, only then should you switch focus to your second most important task, and so on.

As your day and work unfold, mastering the art of doing one thing at a time is the best way to proceed. You may, however, multitask on issues that represent the routine or familiar and that carry few consequences for lost time on the trail. In general, though, your best strategy for high productivity is to forsake multitasking and its false promise as you handle the multiple priorities that you face.

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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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Business

Corporate America’s Grand Social Engineering Scheme

Board rooms are flooded with wokesters who seek to skew reality

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A while ago I wrote an article about an apparent grand social engineering scheme, now at least five years running, hatched by corporate America. Since then the situation has accelerated, hence this end-of-the-year update.

To begin, in viewing the ever-lengthening list below of companies and products below, do you discern any common denominator?

ADT, Amazon, American Express, American Home Shield, Amex Travel, Aplus.net, Anheuser-Busch, Armorall, Aplus.net, AT&T, Axe Ice Chill, Bank of America, Behr Ultra, Best Buy, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Bombas Underwear, Booking.com, Bud Light, Cadillac, Calvin Klein, Capital One, Carolina Keno, Casper Mattresses, Celebrity Cruises, Centrum Silver, Champion Windows, Chase, Cheerios, Choice Hotels, Cinemark, Clearblue, Coors Light, Corolla Cross, Corona Seltzer, Cricket, Credit Karma, CRS Temporary Housing, Dawn, Dell Technologies, DirecTV, Disney Cruise Lines, Domino’s Pizza, Ecolab Science, Entresto, Entyvio, Expedia, Experian, Fidelity, Freshly.com, GEICO, GetRoman, GlaxoSmithKline Trelegy, Glidden, Grammarly, and Grand Wagoner.

Also, Hagerty, Harris Teeter Supermarket, Heineken, Home Depot, Honey Maid, Humira2, Hyundai, Ikea, Ingressa, Intel, Joybird Furniture, JP Morgan, Just For Men, Kay Jewelers, Keebler, Kesimpta, Kia Motors. Kohl’s, Latuda-Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Liberty Mutual, Lincoln Financial, LL Flooring,  Love Sac Furniture, Macy’s, Marriott Bonvoy, McDonald’s, Mercari, Michelob, Michelob Golden Light, Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite, Mountain Dew, My GMC Card, NBA.com, NerdWallet, Nestle’s, Nioxin, Nissan, Nissan Versa, Notre Dame University, Ocrevus-Genetech, Old Navy, Olive Garden, Opendoor, Otezla, Pepsi, Polident, Prevnar 20, Progressive Insurance, Public Broadcasting System, Rayban, ReMAX, Rocket Mortgage, Rooms to Go, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Rybelsus, and Saga River Cruises.

Add in Samsung Galaxy 21, Serta Arctic, Smile Direct Club, Smithfield Foods, Sonic, Spectrum Business, Spectrum Originals, Starbucks, State Farm, Subway, SunglassesHut.com, T-Mobile, Taco Bell, Tahoe South, TalkItOutNC.org,Target, Terminex, Tide, TheRocketAdvantage.com, TJ Maxx, Tommy John Underwear, TouchOfModern, Toyota, Travel Oregon, VacationsToGo, Valspar Paints, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Visit Albuquerque, Visit Florida, Vivint Smart Home Security, Vizzy Hard Seltzer. Walmart, Wayfare, WeBuyAnyCar, WellCareWells Fargo, White Claw Hard Seltzer, Wimbledon, Vacasa, Volkswagon, Vroom.com, and Zeluja.

A Campaign Unlike All Others

No clue? Every single entity above features television commercials or web advertisements with a black male paired with a white female. Most couples appear to be married or part of a long-term relationship. Or, the pair appears to dating.

This past spring, Michelob launched a commercial, unique in its approach to selling beer. A petite, highly attractive red-headed woman, in an extremely short tennis dress, holding two bottles of Michelob, dances along a tennis court, in a highly suggestive, sexually alluring fashion. At mid court, she hands her black male partner one of the bottles, and they toast.

Nothing to see here, undoubtedly in everyday life, we’ve all witnessed very attractive redheads in decidedly short tennis skirts do a highly suggestive, sexually charged dance on the way to their male partner. Oh, you haven’t?

Skewing Reality

The incidence of mixed race couples in society has been on the increase since the 1970s. Nevertheless, since blacks represent less than 13% of the U.S. population and black men represent roughly 6% of the population, it is a statistical anomaly that so many TV commercials feature such a pairing, with white males out of the picture.

An ever-expanding array of woke advertisers apparently need to re-affirm their virtue signaling. Amex Travel, Armorall, Bank of America, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Capital One, Entresto, Entyvio, Freshly.com, Home Depot, Kay Jewelers, Michelob, Otezla, Progressive Insurance, Sonic, Starbucks, T-Mobile, Taco Bell, Toyota, and Wayfare feature at lease two different TV commercials, with each pairing a black man with a white woman and, in some cases, in a car with white children in the back seat.

In one Nestle’s commercial, the white wife of a black husband aggressively tells us her first name. One particular GetRoman commercial features two different pairings of a black man and a white woman, as does a particular Rocket Mortgage commercial. Rybelsus features two different black male white female parings in the same TV ad.

Ubiquitous, to Say the Least

Black man — white woman commercials are now so ubiquitous that in some cases you’ll see such TV commercials back-to-back, and occasionally even back-to-back-to-back. Might the unassuming, casual viewer wonder, “What’s going on here?” Who decided to engage in mass social engineering?

Samsung, Budweiser, Trojans, Grey Goose Vodka, and PNC Bank depict a more casual relationship between a black man and a white woman. In other cases, only fleeting glimpse of such couples are offered, as with Google, JCPenney, Nissan, and Busch Garden commercials. Travel Oregon employs black man — white woman claymation figures to lure potential vacationers.

In one Amazon TV commercial, a black man is brushing his teeth as a white woman sticks her head out of the shower and says, “That’s a low price.” Two children, one black and one white, are all in the bathroom with them at the same time.

Unlike Anything You’ve Seen Before

A Bombas underwear commercial ends showing the backsides of a white woman and black man each in the their underwear, holding each other, in a risque pose, unlike anything you’ve ever seen in a TV commercial.

Aleve features a white woman with a black child on her shoulders. Zeluja shows a gleeful grandmother accompanied by her two mixed-race grandchildren on a boat around the lake. Eyemed features an early 30s white woman embracing her apparent mixed race son. LL flooring features a couple lying on a hardwood floor. The white woman says, “I love you Steve” and then the black man says, “I love you Steve.” It turns out the flooring salesman is named Steve.

In a Starbucks commercial — you know, the company headed Howard Schultz, who proudly proclaimed in 2017 that he was going to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years and was upended by a populist backlash that sought to know why he didn’t proclaim the quest to hire 10,000 U.S. veterans — a black man and a white woman enter a Starbucks, about to hold hands, for apparently the first time. The commercial’s closing sequence reads, “Starbucks, your happy day is here.”

Scenarios Unprecedented

Anyone can be in love with anyone, and certainly anyone can be in a relationship with anyone. What is unfolding in corporate and ‘progressive’ America, however, that results in the extreme over-accenting of mixed race couples? Note that Hispanics and Asians generally are not part of this phenomenon.

When a black man in a TV commercial is actually paired with a black woman, she always has lighter skin. If a black man is featured with his apparent children, they always have much lighter skin, leading to the conclusion that the mother is white, such as with Truist Bank, Chevy Bolt, and Blue Cross of North Carolina. In many cases, the darker complexion for the man, the lighter complexion for any offspring. Is the underlying message that dark-skinned women are undesirable?

With T-Mobile, a white woman wearing a wedding ring is resting her head in the lap of a black man. I’ve been watching television for 60 years and have never seen such poses depicted in any TV commercial with a white husband and wife, or a black husband and wife. For some reason, however, today’s corporate entities feel compelled to show us a black husband and a white wife in amorous scenarios unprecedented in television advertising history.

Likewise, GetRoman.com offers an exceedingly bold, racy TV commercial that leaves nothing to the imagination with a black male stating, “Sometimes you’re not ready,” whereupon his white female partner, in a skimpy black dress and high heels proclaims, “We’ve got this,” and they march off to the bedroom.

Abroad and in Print

Ethnic Europeans, who comprise more than 90% of the continent, are puzzled by what they see as an anti-white propaganda campaign conveyed through television commercials. The promotion of mixed race relationships, with a white woman and a black man, in particular, has become so commonplace that even unobservant viewers have noticed.

Magazine and website ads in the U.S. such as DiscoverTheForest.org, by the U.S. Forest Service pairs a black man and a white woman holding hands as they strolled through a forest with two mixed-race children proceeding them. Fidelity Investments features a black man and a white woman leaning on a railing, staring at the horizon, in the planning for their retirement. Farmbox, BathFitter, Jonathon Paul Fitovers, and OTC Network follow the same pattern.

What is the end game behind interracial commercials? Are corporate board rooms flooded with wokesters who feel compelled or coerced to skew reality in this particular way?

Show us the Sales Data

Since corporate advertising is specifically designed to bolster product and service awareness and, ultimately, revenue, do such companies believe that black/white pairings will help them with their sales? I’d be interested in seeing their data.

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Justice, not ‘Social’ Justice, Improves Society

If we ignore existing laws simply in favor of what we want, society will soon break down

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Thomas Jefferson wrote that, “The most sacred of the duties of government is to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens.” The hallowed duty to fulfill the promise of justice for all remains, or ideally should remain, as the guiding ideal for the people we elect to government.

A friend of mine recently commented that the ‘social’ justice movement in America is alive and well, and that great things have been happening. However, when you put any word in front of the word ‘justice,’ the true meaning of justice is altered. Social justice is some group’s attempt at righting what they consider to be wrong.

I asked my friend for an example of social justice and was told that power lines being installed near poor neighborhoods instead of wealthier neighborhoods was a prime example. I then explained that that was not an issue related to ‘social’ justice but to justice itself.

Express Lanes for Redress

This is not 1860, or 1960. Today, many avenues exist for illuminating any issue of merit. Locally, there are zoning boards in every municipality, city councils usually with members on the left and the right, town hall meetings, public forums, newspapers, local television stations – a variety of entities that can be brought to bear to examine an issue and to forge some type of equitable redress if needed.

To be sure, no form of political government is anywhere near perfect or even equitable, much of the time. Democracy is difficult, but all other forms of government are worse.

In a democracy, or representative republic, such as we have in the U.S., you can’t go off half-cocked and do exactly what you want because you think that a particular law is bad. You have to work to change the law, to change policies, to address inequities within the framework of democracy, and within the bound of the justice system.

A Sanctuary for Whom?

Consider the phenomenon of sanctuary cities. For a sanctuary city to exist, one has to have a mayor, an alderman, city council members,  and other committee members, including those whose were elected as well as as appointed, to believe that what they’re espousing is right, while ignoring what has been passed into law. This ruling class thus usurps that which a majority of citizens rely upon each day.

A sanctuary city, by definition, is a city that is breaking the law. The Left will rationalize that ‘social’ justice requires breaking the law and that not all laws are good laws. True: not all laws are good laws. Laws, nevertheless, were passed as a result of a process in place for tens if not hundreds of years.

If laws routinely discriminate against one segment of the population versus another, then by all means work to change the law. When you insert catchphrases into the mix, such as ‘social’ justice, what that actually means is that you have another viewpoint of an issue. Further, you deem that your view and your actions are more meritorious than whatever came before them.

Vigilantism isn’t Pretty

Years ago, by exhibiting such behavior, you would be called a vigilante. Vigilantes are a self-appointed group who engage in policy enforcement without having legal authority, usually because they deem the legal agencies to be inadequate.

We dwell in a society where the media is distinctly liberal, and even leftist – as we have witnessed with big tech, the big TV networks, nearly all newspapers, and, unfortunately, a variety of government agencies. Thus, those advocating for ‘social’ justice have the wind at their backs. Yet, they violate the rights, and votes, of half the population and perhaps much more.

Welcome to My Two Cents

Any one of us could offer a long list of social issues that we’d like to change. If we decide, willy-nilly, to start ignoring existing laws in favor of what we want, how long will it take before society breaks down completely? Taking the law into your own hands is the essence of what it means to be a vigilante. Vigilante-dominated societies are not healthy. Many of their residents live in constant fear.

Taking the law into your own hands is an ill-advised shortcut to seeking what you want without working through the system, however imperfect the system might be. This country, any country, does not need more vigilantism.

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