I don’t believe in multitasking. And you shouldn’t either.

What is our society’s obsession with multitasking? Almost every interview I have gone on in my adult life has asked that question. “Are you good/efficient at multitasking?” Well of course, I said I was excellent. After all, I’m a Mom. I can multitask my ass off. But, if you want to be elite. If you want to be a peak performer, you don’t multitask. And here’s why…

Sure, I can talk on the phone, cook dinner and nurse my infant at the same time. Most Moms can. I can also type, talk on the phone and look at the computer at the same time. It doesn’t mean that I’m doing them well.

As an elite figure skater, I had to complete one element at a time. You know what that means? I can’t do a triple lutz and a camel spin at the same time. It. Doesn’t. Work. Literally, physically, spiritually and in every other way. It just doesn’t work.

Now, it goes without saying that I am partial to athletics. And not just figure skating or CrossFit. I think we can agree that professional athletes are amongst the elite in our society and are highly regarded as peak performers. Do you see ANY of them doing things at the same time? You can’t be on the pommel horse and still rings at the same time. You can’t be pole vaulting and hurdling at the same time. And you can’t be putting and driving at the same time. And on and on it goes. Name me a sport where you can execute two different movements at the same time. You can’t.

Now, let’s extend that further. Can a CEO review the marketing plan and this quarter’s financials at the same time and do them BOTH excellent? You know what my answer is. No. Can the Commanding Officer go over logistics and the equipment list at the same time? No. And here’s the thing….YOU WOULDN’T WANT HIM TO. If our lives were dependent on a person’s ability to multitask or not…certainly you would want them focused solely on one thing. Mistakes can NOT be made. I realize that is very tongue-in-cheek, as most of us aren’t juggling the lives of others. But if we did, I’m sure you would want 100% focus and concentration.

So, when you think about it, the most effective peak performers DON’T multitask. They focus. They concentrate. They execute. The next time someone asks you if you multitask, I hope you have enough guts to give them a resounding “NO!”

Now, go be elite.

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Val Jones

I am a professional figure skater turned peak performance expert/speaker/author. I help individuals/organizations reach their peak performance and income goals.