As I sit here typing on my computer, I realize that I’m becoming one of them.
I’m watching TV, listening to an iPod, I have Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus open in separate windows on my desk top, I’m monitoring my laptop, and I’m texting on my phone. Hang on…okay…just had to finish that text.
Seriously, have I lost my freakin’ mind?
Before you answer that question, check out your own surroundings and make sure you haven’t become one of them, too. How about it? How many masters are you currently serving?
They’ve been around for many years but their existence seems to be somewhat of an epidemic now. And in an almost cannibalistic manner, they are slowly destroying the exceptional and the outstanding potential that exists within each of them.
Sadly, it seems, I’m just the latest affected by this world-changing virus, and if I don’t do something about it, I’ll be one of them and fall right into line. Never to achieve at the extraordinary levels that I might have, had I just stayed true to myself.
Who the hell am I talking about? (Good question).
Who else? The MULTI-TASKERS.
Yes, as glorious and sexy as it seems to be able to “talk” to five people at once, get my days fill of culture, entertainment, and news simultaneously, send and respond to 54 e-mail messages in five minutes, and proudly jump from project to project…it’s all just smoke and mirrors. I’m not really getting better at anything in particular. My skill set is not developing in any specific area. And here’s the kicker – I’m not even getting any more accomplished! In fact, one could argue that by starting and being involved in so many things at the same time, rarely do any of us, affected by the virus, get around to actually finishing anything. At least finishing it in a passionate way and with our own unique stamp on it.
Sure, we can do more stuff. But is it our best?
As humans, we haven’t really evolved to the point where we can perform at the same level of the technology. A presentation still takes a certain amount of TLC before it can be deemed worthy of your best. Just because you can start working on sixteen of them now in one day doesn’t mean they’re all going to turn out wonderful. In fact, if you’re physically preparing sixteen proposals in the same time it used to take you to do one…I’d say it’s a sure thing that the quality is suffering.
And honestly, none of us are doing any more than we used to, as it relates to being exceptional. We’re just doing a lot of stuff. At the same time. It’s busy work and it feels real productive. But the truth is, we’re wasting a lot of time. Doesn’t that seem counter intuitive? I mean, you would think that because we’re all so locked in and connected that we’d be maximizing our time, right?
But look, you can’t keep posting quality tidbits on your Facebook while trying to keep your Tweets interesting and your blog compelling, right? Especially if you’re still holding down a 9-to-5 job! Somethin’s gotta give!
As a culture we’ve become the jack-of-all-trades, masters-of-none that we joked about only a couple of decades earlier.
I was on a conference call the other day, and at the same time I was instant messaging three different people, talking on my cell phone and working on a spreadsheet. I’m not even sure that I was in my body at the time. If my head would have exploded, would anyone have noticed? Maybe the person I was actually talking to on the phone, but then again, they may have just thought we experienced a dropped call. The people I was IM’ing would have assumed I went back to my conference call, and of course the group on that call wouldn’t have cared because we were all on mute anyway. The spreadsheet would have been kinda messy, but other than that…life would have gone on.
Yes, I think I’m crazy, and so are you, and so is everyone else who has embraced multi-tasking as the new work ethic.
So, as I turn the TV and tunes off, here’s the real message: Use the technology to enhance your skill, but don’t become a slave to it.
Multi-tasking is every bit the monster that procrastination is, and if you can keep that in perspective, you’ll do well.
Social media is huge and it can help you create the brand you want for YOU, your business, or anything else you wish to promote. You can be world-wide and super-sized. Just don’t get lost in it all. Don’t try to maintain seven websites and three blogs if you really only have the time and energy for one or two. You can always grow into further success, but no one really ever learned to swim by jumping in the deep end. No matter what your grandma told you. Learn and grow.
Don’t worry if everyone in your posse doesn’t know what you’re doing for a couple of hours each day. Use that time to be exceptional. Live your passion and create the amazing. Take your time and be a finisher, a closer, a do-er! Don’t get caught up in thinking you’re moving forward when you’re really just moving a lot...and in many directions, mostly sideways. All at once.
Someone said that multi-tasking is the death of the exceptional. I would say that could be true. If we don’t learn to harness it and leverage it, then certainly it will kill off a whole lot of the extraordinary that we could have accomplished.
So really, I think the bottom line is this; while we all may be a little nuts, we don’t need to throw all sanity to the wind and try to exceed the natural limitations of doing too many things at the same time. I believe the technological advancements we have made are as awesome as they are amazing. And yes, we can use them to reach, connect, and associate with people we never would have imagined being able to do this with.
You and I can accomplish great things, as long as we don’t lose touch with what makes us extraordinary as individuals.
It’s still YOUR touch, YOUR talent, YOUR ability that makes the things YOU do so wonderful. And all of those people that you can Tweet, e-mail, write blogs for, text, and IM need you for who YOU are.
How about Multi-accomplisher? How does that sound?