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Single-tasking -- Writer's Poke #144

For Writers:

For years I wore a size 12 shoe. I always knew that my shoes felt tight, but it wasn't until a shoe salesperson measured my feet and said, "You know, you're actually a 13" that it dawned on me: I should move up a size. My feet have been a lot happier ever since.

That's just one example of how difficult it is to change. We get something in our head, and no matter how uncomfortable we might be, we stick with it, and never consider that change is an option, or even that change is necessary.

Recently, it dawned on me that most people take pride in being multi-taskers. On the surface, multi-taskers seem able to accomplish a lot more because they can fragment their focus to a number of different tasks.

In truth, however, multi-tasking increases stress. And, it's debatable whether or not multi-taskers are more efficient or effective. Just a minor example: for the past few years, I tried to multi-task books, reading five or more at a time. The end result: twenty partially read books stacked on my "to read" shelf.

Most people probably feel compelled to multi-task out of apparent necessity, but a little bit of planning might be all that's required to live a less stressful life. What things in your life would you need to change to live with more focus, still getting everything done that needs to be done?

"Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve." -- Wilfred Peterson


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