From Multi-task to Single Focus
Most of my early heroes were workaholics, and some were also perfectionists. What an amazing, yet deadly mix! No surprise then, that I developed the same two traits. Then I discovered that I was good at multi-tasking. Most of my life, friends seemed to be amazed at how much I could accomplish. I assume, to whatever degree that was true, it was because of the blending of these three ingredients. I had the “disease” of which Nigel Cumberland wrote in his book, 100 Things Successful People Do, “The new disease of our age is being OK doing everything at exactly the same time.” I envisioned myself like the guy at the circus who was able to spin multiple plates on rods at the same time. My secret was to work continually with one plate, until I could make it spin with perfection, then, slowly add plates, until I was spinning as many as the circus performer. As Jesus described Martha, He could have been describing me, “you are worried and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41). I learned too late the wisdom in Ecclesiastes 4:6, “Better a handful with quietness than both hands full, together with toil.” But I did accomplish a great deal. For that I am both grateful and thankful. No regrets. I was asked the other day, what would I do different if I was eighteen years old again, with my life to re-live. My answer was, “with the exception of a cancelled summer try-out for a minor league baseball team, very little.” As the years of my life add up, one of the things I’ve discovered missing is the ability to multi-task like I used to be able to do. One man said he was fully capable of multi-tasking. He could leave his office, cross the street, read the directions to his next appointment, talk on his cell phone, and get hit by a car, all at the same time. I’m still somewhat of a workaholic and very much a perfectionist, but one thing at a time, please. Anyone else shifting from multi-tasking to single focusing?