Life is so busy these days that multi-tasking is a normal part of our day. We all do it or try to do it and I hate to say that many multi-task badly even when they think it is going well. The truth is it doesn’t really matter what you are doing whether it is trying to get your career going, workout at the gym, or get to your destination on time, you have to focus.
This is easily seen on the road on a regular basis. Those drivers that are called ‘truck stop drivers’ where they basically go from truck stop to truck stop, wait around to run with other drivers, and take their time getting to their destination. At the end of the month they are the same drivers complaining they are not making as much money as their counterparts in the industry.
I recently saw a guy at the gym that was trying to multi-task while working out. He was on a machine answering his email and phone messages. As I continued doing my workout routine he sat on the one machine on his phone. I worked out on three machines while he worked out on one machine because he was answering email. One of us had focus!
I shouldn’t have to mention distracted driving as the statistics alone will prove my point. Even those that think they do it well or argue that it is legal to do can look at the statistics to know that multi-tasking doesn’t work in this area. I don’t talk on the phone while driving because I have found for myself that my attention wasn’t there when on the road. If you don’t believe me then realize that if you continue to practice being distracted while driving it won’t be ‘if’ something will happen it will be a matter of ‘when’.
What does focus mean? Does it mean that you only do one thing and forget everything else? Of course you need to do different things, the trick is to focus on one task at a time by improving your time management skills. That means planning out your day, week, or month so that you cover the important items that you need to accomplish. So let’s take a look at how that can improve the scenarios mentioned above.
Let’s look at the truck driver scenario above. Drivers only have so many hours per day that they can drive or work. If you have ever been running with another driver that likes to stop a lot, or has lots of time to get to their destination you know it can be a slow process. They stop where and when they feel like it without any focus. They still get to their destination, but not in the most efficient manner. Now compare that to the times when you run on your own, you plan out your trip, focus on grouping all the services you need into one stop and stop at scheduled intervals. By operating that way you will see a tremendous difference in your efficiency for the trip.
Take the guy at the gym. Part of working out is to get your intensity up with your exercises so that it helps to elevate your heart rate and burn fat. If you work out doing the same exercises but focus on your routine, reduce the rest phases between exercises, you will get double the benefit from the workout than answering your email in-between sets.
With distracted driving There are too many examples. View the statistics, videos, and television shows on the loss of life, damage to property, and those that have lost family members and stop driving while distracted.
As we move into 2017 there will be even more noise coming into your world, making it even harder to focus. It is up to you to decide which of that noise is important to you and how you can have the best information to help you succeed. Look at all the things you do everyday and find out the best way to prioritize, organize, and improve your efficiency and you will see the difference in the important areas of your life. I wish you well for 2017.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is transportation consultant with over 30 years experience in the industry. He is the host of The Lead Pedal Podcast for drivers ( www.theleadpedalpodcast.com), author of the books Running By The Mile, and Driven to Drive, and is a trainer and consultant for the industry. You can learn more about Bruce and his work at www.bruceoutridge.com