You Can’t Multitask

Oh sure, I know you THINK you multitask wonderfully. You think the people on the other side of your phone call don’t realize you are only there partially. You think you are MORE efficient because you are doing several things at once. Guess what. You’re not more efficient. You are less efficient. Worse than that, in my opinion, is that you are incredibly rude. Rude. Ill-Mannered. Offensive. You know what reaction you are getting on the other end of YOUR inattention? People are turning off and turning away. Hey – if this isn’t that important to you, it’s not so important to me either.

Do a search on the phrase “multitasking less efficient”. Before you can complete typing the word “less”, the suggested search comes back with the phrase. I was going to put in links to studies showing that people who multitask are: (1) the very ones least able to handle multitasking (2) less efficient than those who do not multitask (3) less productive than those who do not multitask (4) decreasing their brain functioning even when they are NOT multitasking (lowers your brain IQ by 10 points even after multitasking) (5) raising their stress levels (6) wasting 20-40% of their time. There were WAY too many links for me to choose one or two. Still think that multi-tasking is a good idea?

I was in a business meeting the other day. There were 3 presenters. Two of them had given their slides to the host and had the host advancing the screen. The middle presenter, who spent the first few minutes in group chat pointing out that his time was limited and he had to be on directly at THIS time and not at THAT time, chose to run his presentation from his machine. Not a problem except he did NOT bother to shut down all his instant message windows. Still not a problem except he chose to open them and answer while he talked to us. Really???? You are trying to tell us about the importance of your product, and you are opening IM windows??? Even though you were saying “can’t talk now”, you were interrupting your own presentation. How incredibly rude. How incredibly stupid. Even when you talked to us and stayed on the screen, your voice was distracted. We knew you were looking at your phone or looking at the blinking IM bar. The fact is, you were a bore. I don’t know about others, but I tuned out. You kept interrupting the conversational flow. I’m not even mentioning all the times you said “um” or “uh”. You are the LAST person I would ever invite to give a presentation.

I have phone calls all the time with people who are obviously doing something else while talking to me. The big irony is that typically it’s the other person who requested the call. I can hear the distraction in your voice. You can’t articulate clearly what you want. You forget what you were saying. You are rude. You are inefficient. You are wasting my time. When I hear you drifting away, I leave too. This is not productive. It’s also not how effective leaders operate. When I am on the phone with my VP, I KNOW he’s focused on our conversation. We rarely need the full 30 minutes we schedule because we are both focused and on-topic the entire time.

Come on, people. Wise up. (*laughing* Or as my friend Jane used to say “couth up”) If you are trying to communicate with another person, be it voice or written, FOCUS. I’m so tired of emails with misspelled words, extra words, missing attachments. Take the time to – oh my gosh – REREAD what you’ve written before rushing to hit send. If you are talking to someone, don’t be opening your mail or IMs. Focus on the voice on the other end. It doesn’t take that much time or effort. You’re not impressing people favorably. You’re not working well. You’re rude. You’re inefficient. You’re a bore.

I have some writing to do. Please excuse me while I set my status to “do not disturb”.

Coming Into Focus

I try to pretend I’m not, but I am. Superstitious. Like Hamlet, I believe there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in Horatio’s philosophy. I see connections that may or may not be there. I see causal events that might not have been the catalyst. I believe in karma. The past year was perhaps one of the most difficult of my life. I couldn’t seem to reach my inner energy, to see where I was going, to see clearly.

Somewhere in the last year, my portrait in SL blurred. It’s my profile picture, taken by the inimitable Callipygian Christensen. I have had it hanging on my bedroom wall for a few years. You know how it is with things you see daily – you stop “seeing” them at some point. I began having a vague notion that the photo was blurred, but I thought it was a matter of impatience on my part – not waiting for it to rez all the way before moving on. Then I realized that no, it NEVER rezzed clearly anymore. I thought about it, did nothing. Finally several weeks ago I mentioned it to Calli. She thought it sounded very odd indeed. But we never got around to going to look at the picture together. Time passed and it was Chanukah. Lalo came to light candles and he said yes, your portrait is definitely blurred. More time.

Finally came a moment when we were all inworld with time to decipher the situation. Calli, Lalo, Oura and I stood in the room and saw a blurred photo. We couldn’t fix it. We were using 3 different viewers. All blurred. I think it was Calli who figured out that if she rezzed the texture of the photo (which she still had) that the photo came into focus. I think Lalo called up my profile and when THAT rezzed, the photo on the wall came into focus as well. Calli gave me the texture, I rezzed it. When it rezzed, the portrait came into focus. No, we don’t know why. I will tell you that I can still go into the room and the portrait is blurred. But now I have my magic charm. I rez the texture and the portrait rezzes too.

I don’t think that I have a magic charm for my day-to-day world. But that portrait has also come back into focus in the last few weeks. The energy is back, the clarity. The inner and outer Ahuva are aligned and focused. And I like what I see. 🙂