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Why Multitasking DECREASES Productivity
April 24, 2015

This is the everything-you-need-to-know-to-be-as-healthy-as-possible newsletter, brought to you by Kristy Russ, pharmacist and health consultant. I have over 20 years experience in helping people improve their health.

I help people get healthy, and more importantly, stay that way so they're not miserable and just slowly dying for the last 20 years of their lives, which IS the "norm" today.

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I had a busy (but fun) weekend. I was hosting a booth at a local business expo, which is a lot of work to set up and organize, but once you're there, you meet some great people. I LOVE chatting with people about health and helping them troubleshoot their health challenges, so I really enjoyed myself.

On the other hand, it's always a little frustrating and depressing how "ostrich-like" many people are about their health. Despite obvious health problems, you also meet many people unwilling to make some simple changes that would improve the quality of their life significantly. They're either unwilling to acknowledge that there might be something wrong with what they're doing or they just want to be the victim and have someone listen to their woes but not actually take suggestions to improve their situation.

I see it often in the pharmacy too, but it never ceases to amaze me why someone wouldn't do everything they can to feel better.

Anyway, the topic of today's newsletter is some interesting information I came across last month that I wanted to pass along to you. Enjoy...

Multitasking = LESS Getting Done

Are you a multitasker? If you're a woman and a mother, especially, you definitely are. I feel better when I'm able to accomplish the no-brainer projects at the same time as something else, like folding laundry while chatting on the phone. And I use my driving commute to listen to audio teaching like personal development or health and business podcasts.

Here's the thing though: There's a fine line where you cross over from being more productive to actually accomplishing less. Really.

Take my situation for example: I thought my life was busy before. That was nothing compared to the last 7 months since I decided to launch a full-fledged business of one-on-one health coaching. The never-ending list of things to do to promote and run a business is daunting. My evenings and "days off" from the pharmacy are absolutely jam-packed.

I'm usually pretty good at prioritizing and getting things done, but I found that the last couple of months started to get just too chaotic. I have so much stuff that needs to get done and I found that on days when I had nothing else "scheduled" and I should have gotten lots done, the day would end and I was so disappointed because nothing (or little) actually got accomplished. Yet I had been diligently working all day- how was that possible?

Recently I created a schedule for my "work from home" days. It forced me to set aside blocks of time for all the things that need to get done so that time-stealing activities don't end up taking over the whole day. Now when I stick to the schedule, I'll at least get that allotted time for the activity. Being productive again feels great!

I'll bet you're suffering from the same low productivity, whether you realize it or not. Did you know we are now bombarded with more information in one single day than our ancestors received in their entire lifetime?!?

Do you check email, texts, Facebook, etc. while you're working, exercising or (supposedly) spending time with friends and family?

Here's the stats to show it's happening way more often than we think:

  • Workers who use computers during the day check email nearly 37 times an hour. Wow!
  • Average workers are interrupted, on average, every 11 minutes and spend a third of their day recovering from distractions (mostly related to technology).
  • Workers lose 28% of an average workday do to multitasking ineffectiveness.
  • Research performed by Rutgers University shows millions of users are now able unable to go more than five minutes without checking their smart phones.
  • Computer multitaskers experience a burst of dopamine-that can be addictive...

And check out this study: In 2005, a psychiatrist at King’s College in London administered IQ tests to three groups:

  • The first group did nothing but perform the IQ test...
  • The second group was distracted by e-mail and a ringing phone...
  • The third group was stoned on marijuana....
  • Not surprisingly, the first group did better than the other two by an average of 10 points.

    But get this: the e-mailers did WORSE than the stoners by an average of 6 points! Crazy!

    Obviously technology has its place. Otherwise how would you read my newsletters :-) However, it can be a double-edged sword.

    At the risk of over-simplifying, here's what you need to do:

    Do one thing at a time...
    Do it right...
    Finish it...

    Just following this one simple law will increase your productivity, improve the quality of your relationships and lower your stress. When you eliminate broken focus from your life, it improves all aspects of it (including your health, which is why I'm discussing it).

    What about you? Are you focused on ONE thing at a time? Or are you constantly feeling distracted?

    I’ll end with a bunch of quotes that drives this point straight home:

    "The shorter way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time." -Mozart

    "Often he who does too much does too little." -Italian Proverb

    "The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus." -Bruce Lee

    "If you chase two rabbits, both will escape." -Anonymous

    Another Grateful Customer...

    "The components of the program make it so easy to follow. It's like 'Weight loss for Dummies'" "I have never been able to stick with programs that require you to measure or weigh food. Too complicated and it takes the joy out of eating.

    I'm loving the results I'm getting and I can't believe how much energy I have now!"
    -Wendy M.

    Because Laughter Really IS Good Medicine...

    • A patient walks into a doctor's office with a cucumber crammed into one ear, a bouquet of parseley jammed into his mouth, and surprisingly large carrots hanging from his nostrils. He manages to mumble, "Doc, you gotta help me. I feel awful. What's wrong with me?"

      The doctor replied, "You're not eating properly."

    • A mechanic was removing a cylinder-head from the motor of a Harley motorcycle when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop. The cardiologist was there waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his bike when the mechanic shouted across the garage, "Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?"

      The cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the motorcycle. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, "So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back in, and when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I make $39,675 a year and you get the really big bucks ($1,695,759) when you and I are doing basically the same work?"

      The cardiologist paused, smiled and leaned over, then whispered to the mechanic...''Try doing it with the engine running."

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