You are killing yourself…literally. In fact, you’re probably doing it right now, and you’ve likely been doing it for a while.
And you might not even realize it.
A few years back, I was sitting on the couch working away at building my empire when I noticed myself gasping for air. More than a deep sigh, I was almost fighting for my next breath.
I was in the throes of working my business: answering emails, responding to social media messages, coordinating calendars and researching data for The High-Altitude Mentorship Show.
And there I was…killing myself in front of my family as they watched a movie right next to me.
I was committing one of the great health mistakes we all make daily: I was multi-tasking. I was swimming in a sea of distractions, and my brain was doing backflips trying to process all the incoming stimuli that was fighting for my attention.
And my body was fighting for its very life. Literally.
Research shows that our brains are incapable of multitasking. Previously a badge of honor amongst the ultra-busy and over-tasked, multitasking has now taken its rightful place in the pantheon of inefficiency and undisciplined behavior.
When a client comes to me and proudly boasts that they are excellent at multitasking, I call them on their B.S. You see, it is physically impossible to multitask.
The human brain is incapable of doing more than one thing at a time. It is, however, fantastic at switching quickly from one task to the next, which is where the illusion (delusion?) of multitasking comes from.
Biologically speaking, when we take on more than one task at a time (checking email while watching television; texting while driving; checking Facebook while having a meal with friends or family), our brains go in to overload and fight back by dumping a deluge of adrenaline and cortisol—stress hormones—into our blood stream.
These hormones send our nervous system into overdrive in an attempt to keep up with the flood of information and stimuli coming at us at warp speed.
The end result is an increase in blood pressure, an increase in the production of belly fat (YES…multitasking makes you fat!), and a decrease in mental performance.
The drop in mental performance happens because, instead of focusing in on a single task, our brains fight to keep track of everything going on. Our concentration is spread thin, our brains start to panic and respond with stress hormones in a desperate attempt to keep up.
So how does this really affect us? Research shows that multitasking can have the same cognitive affect as having a blood alcohol level of .08…the mark of being legally drunk in most US states.
Further, multitasking can create a 10 point drop in I.Q.
By contrast, smoking marijuana leads to a 5 point drop…that means multitasking is making you twice as dumb as if you were stoned!
So what is the answer?
I teach strategies for breaking the multitasking habit through better focus in my program, F.L.I.G.H.T. School to Success. A key takeaway here is to focus in on ONE task at a time.
The key takeaway here is to focus in on ONE task at a time.
I recommend using the Pomodoro Technique.
Here’s how it works:
1. Chose a prioritized task
2. Get yourself in a distraction-free space (no TV, no visitors, no web browser, etc)
3. Set a timer for 25 minutes (Success tip: if you use the one on your phone like I do, set the phone to airplane mode!)
4. Work on the task—and only that task—for 25 focused minutes
5. Take a 5 minute break (set your timer), then jump back in for another round.
Do this cycle a few times, then take a 60 minute break.
Success tip: When you take a break, take a break! Let your mind relax; no text messages, Facebook surfing, etc. Drink some water, move your body, breathe deep…then get back at it!
This technique will help you stay focused and be more productive.
And if you must surf Facebook, drop me a line and let me know how this exercise worked for you! Go to Facebook.com/FlyWithJT and leave me a comment.
Fly High. Fly Fast. Fly Far!
PS: Be sure and join me every Monday-Thursday at 10:30 am EST for The High-Altitude Mentorship Show. You can access it at http://JTDeBolt.com/live