Multi-task? You’re Putting Your Health At Risk

I can admit it.

I used to be a huge multi-taker.

I thought I could get it all done and get it done faster, better and all at once.

Boy was I wrong.

How come?

Why is multi-taking so evil?

And what could it possibly do to affect my health?

Let’s define multi-tasking.

Multi-tasking is when you work on several projects or several “things” all at the same time.  Not one project ever gets your full attention for any amount of time and a skewed sense of productivity tends to overwhelm the do-er.

Okay, I’m coloring the definition here with my opinion but I want to make a point.

When you choose to spread your focus and attention over several things at once, a few things tend to happen.

  • You end up missing something or something falls through the cracks
  • You actually spend more time working on all the projects altogether than it would have taken if each project was done individually
  • You take this habit and spread it across the rest of your life, sometimes to life threatening circumstances. (see: texting & driving)
  • You lose all sense of enjoyment or feelings of accomplishment when you’re spread out over many projects

So with the exception of multi-tasking every aspect of your life, nothing here is really life threatening, right?


If you miss something or something falls through the cracks, no one gets hurt, right?

Not if you’re a doctor or nurse in an emergency room hospital.

If you end up spending/wasting more time on a project, no one suffers, right?

Not if you’re creating a new technology that will help people in rural areas get access to emergency care when they need it or if you’re the one responsible for getting clean drinking water to an area recently affected by a natural disaster.

So you don’t enjoy the work that you do or you can’t enjoy the feelings of accomplishment, surely I’m the only one who feels that, right?

Every day in every way, you are a walking, living, breathing example of life to your children, friends and neighbors.  Do you want to be the one to tell them that it’s okay to not have fun, to not enjoy the moment or that rushing through life is the way to go?

When you think that multi-talking is harmless and helps you get more done, you are getting further and further from the truth.

Let me make it more personal.

You want to be healthier.

Say you want to eat better.  You want to maybe exercise some more.  You want to cut back on some risk factors for diseases that run in your family.  Maybe you want to lose weight or get stronger.

You read.  You study.  You ask your doctor, friends, family and co-workers for advice or recommendations.

Perfect. Great.  You’re all set to go.

So you do all of it.

Right now.

At once.

What do you expect to happen?

Magically all of these new habits, suggestions and advice all become part of you and you become healthier?

You’re able to stay on the wagon with all of these changes and just work all of them at once?

Do you see where I’m headed with this?

When you try to take everything on at once, when you try to do everything at once, all you are effectively doing is sabotaging yourself.


You don’t really want to be healthier.

You just want to look like you’re trying.  You want to look really busy trying to make it happen.

And when it doesn’t happen, you can just say, “See, it doesn’t work.”

Then you never need to try again because you’ve already proven that it doesn’t work.

“I’ve tried everything.  Nothing works.”

Game over, time to move on.

So what do I suggest?

Slow down.

Do one thing at a time.  Really.  Just one thing.

And if you find that hard to do, then use a timer.  Set it for 10, 20 or 30 minutes intervals and only do one thing during that time.  Then move on to the next task.

Do one thing and only one thing.

You have nothing to lose.

You will be just as productive, if not significantly more productive.

You will be happier and healthier.

You’ll just wonder why it took you so long to get here.

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