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The Perfect Skills-Set for Human Productivity: Multitasking With Single-Focus

You say that's a contradiction of terms do you? Well I'm here to tell you they can work with a strong dose of discipline from the deployers. Although it's a good thing that we can do lots of chores, it's also essential that we do each one with dedication. To bring this to a very down-to-earth level, let me use the example of chores around the home. There's always something to fix when you own a home (or two) that don't lend themselves to hiring Conrad Contractor. So when I'm up on a ladder clear

You say that's a contradiction of terms do you? Well I'm here to tell you they can work with a strong dose of discipline from the deployers. Although it's a good thing that we can do lots of chores, it's also essential that we do each one with dedication. To bring this to a very down-to-earth level, let me use the example of chores around the home. There's always something to fix when you own a home (or two) that don't lend themselves to hiring Conrad Contractor. So when I'm up on a ladder clearing a leaves-clogged downspout, I have no desire to engage in small talk with Ned Neighbor who is walking his dog and thinks I should be his entertainment for 10 minutes. I've got eight things to do today, but the downspout has 100 percent of my attention right now. Get lost, Ned.A very prestigious medical clinic was bursting at the seams for space, and thus, some physicians occupied less than glamorous office space-a tiny cubical marked off with six-foot high partitions. The in-and-out traffic from one doctor's office staff got to the point where the man couldn't take it. He was kind and sensitive so his request for privacy to complete his reports was a scribbled piece of paper taped to the outside of a partition that read, "The door is closed." What door?

Mary O'Leary prides herself on the art of being understood. So when she called her bank's customer service department, she introduced herself by name, status as a customer, and offered a clear description of what was wrong. After that nice intro, the CSR began with, "What's your last name?" Where was he when she offered everything he needed to know? Probably wrapping up the previous call.

Betty Buxton is a reservations agent for a major airline, but never leaves home. She does lots of things at home so when a call comes in, she doesn't adjust easily from vacuuming or cooking to finding the best flight. There's lots of repetition, and in between unnecessary questions to obtain PNR data that's already in the system her employer spent billions to provide, Betty gets her only chance to socialize. Lots of things get done in her day, but callers wonder if it isn't time to switch to Orbitz.

Rudy Radcliffe is now retired and spends a lot of time shopping for daily needs. Even though he has nothing else to do all day, he misses the efficiency he once enjoyed when he would buy his pack o' Luckies at the corner store, put his 26 cents on the counter, and be gone in two shakes of a lamb's tail. Now the guy in front of him at CVS doesn't have his rewards card, and two phone numbers didn't work. There's a lot of talk, and finally the clerk leaves to check something. The line gets longer, she's gone for a long time and returns with new rewards cards. More conversation occurs. Then the customer has an issue about his prescriptions which the clerk tries to answer but defers to the pharmacist who will be there in the euphemistic "one minute" which, gratefully for some other customer, turns out to be longer as he is focused on getting his current prescription filled correctly. Lots of things get done, but speed and efficiency took a giant step backward.

How many things are on your daily agenda? How many get done right? I've got to go now because it's getting hot and I need another dip in the Atlantic.

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