A couple of weeks ago, I began reading Daniel Patrick Forrester’s book, “Consider”. The book tackles the question of how well the average person processes the tremendous amount of data that pours into our conscious mind each day and why we need to actively include periods of reflective thinking in our daily routine. Forrester’s book includes some fascinating information about multi-tasking.
Multi-taskers are in high demand across the board. In fact, the ability to juggle several tasks simultaneously happens to be one trait that successful fry cooks and Fortune 500 CEO’s share. But how well does the average person multi-task? Not well, according to Stanford researcher Richard Nass, who has conducted multiple studies on the topic. While 2.5% of the population can multi-task effectively, the rest of us simply wind up doing two things poorly. My experience has convinced me that I am not one of the lucky 2.5%; I need to concentrate on one task at a time.
About one hour after finishing “Consider”, something interesting happened. I picked up a book that was owned by Susan’s grandmother, Josephine Jack.entitled “1000 Inspirational Things”. (Not my usual read, but it caught my eye that day.) Complied in 1957 by Audrey Stone Morris, this book included the following quote attributed to Syrus on page 13:
“To do two things at once is to do neither.”
After my previous read, I was interested to learn more about this Syrus fellow. Turns out Syrus, who was a favorite of Julius Caesar, made his observation on multitasking in 46 BC. Nothing changes!
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