The challenge is that our brains are not designed to perform optimally and multitask too. In fact, multitasking flies in the face of the ability to truly think critically or creatively— both of which are required to trouble shoot issues and to ultimately produce meaningful results. My experience has been that it is almost impossible to be creative and to multitask simultaneously. The creative process and the ability to critically think require us to slow down and BE IN THE PRESENT. For example, I tend to be much more creative and quicker on my feet after a long weekend or vacation. Unfortunately, the half-life of those little breaks is always short lived and the immediate stress upon re-entry to the technological noise kills your quiet mind and pulls you right back into the raging sea of information, multiple cognitive threads and, of course, multitasking.
Some of us know mindfulness or being in the present as our inner voice. In the biography by Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs is quoted as saying, “I began to realize that an intuitive understanding and consciousness was more significant than abstract thinking and intellectual logical analysis… intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.” Even Albert Einstein said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
In conclusion, I recommend that you experiment with different techniques that allow you to be more mindful in your work. Try closing off communication channels during meetings and be fully present in the “now” of your work. Create space and time in the information you receive. Have fun with it— see if you can challenge yourself to achieve balance in an unbalanced world. If you are like me, you will find you can actually enjoy your work more and ironically you won’t have to work as hard.
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Image Source: Mary Mattingly; Pull