Living in Michigan, your mind is pulled in several directions. An unbalanced budget, lack of educational funds, a raise in the taxes, and trying to keep a job keeps your thoughts racing on a daily basis. But it isn’t just those external factors that you are juggling. You tend to do the same thing at your job and in your home.
The polyphasic thinker is someone that thinks he or she is getting a lot done, doing several things at the same time. Here’s the catch. Being a polyphasic thinker may actually be bad for your job, your home life and your health.
You are so dedicated to your work that you eat your lunch on the run, talk to your clients and coworkers on the phone while you try to read your local news in the newspaper. While all of this is going on, you are printing your daily reports, answering email, and trying to file the stack of papers that are on your desk. When your workday is done (or you think it is), you go home to have dinner while you watch the news on television, try to fit in a bit of recreational reading, play with the children and start to get things ready for tomorrow’s day of work.
Does that sound familiar? There are a lot of people that live that way on a daily basis. They think they are getting a lot done, but in reality a lot of the tasks they take on don’t really get finished. Those clients and coworkers know you aren’t giving them your full attention, the stack of papers are still on your desk, and the daily reports have errors in them. And to top it all off, you are stress that you are unaware of, possibly contributing to insomnia, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
To change your polyphasic thinking ways, you have to learn to focus on one activity at a time. For example, when you are working on those daily reports, strictly work on the daily reports until the task is completed. Then move on to the next task. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t answer your telephone if it rings while you are doing the reports. On the contrary, redirect your attention to the caller. When the call is complete, then refocus on your reports. The point is to reduce your life’s stress by completing what you set out to do instead of leaving a list of tasks only partially completed.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @MarkWillDCT.