Give me your full attention Mrs Multitasker.

‘She is an amazing leader. She has the ability to multitask. She can be using her phone, yet she can still catch every word you say if you are speaking. She is so smart, so you have to be very careful around her and be aware of what you are saying.’

This is what someone said to me about a leader that we both knew. When he said it, I just wanted to throat punch him for his rank stupidity and his canny ability suck a** with such simplicity. (Just for the record, I am not a violent person – this sentence is for visual effect only)

Where do you start with this sort of blind adulation?

The lack of authenticity in how this sentence was said was of a politicians level of bull.

My face was nodding during this conversation, but the voice in my head was screaming. Head-but, head-but, throat punch, duck, kick and uppercut. Yeah, he was that annoying at that time. (Again, violence is for effect only. I am a pacifist, honest) 

Mate, if she was so good, she would have given you their full attention and not been playing with the phone. 

Why do you have to be fearful or careful with what you say around them? Is that possibly because they are a sh*t leader? Their level of inspiration is linked to their ability to attack. Hence, not very f*cking inspirational at all. 

This leader is the same person that once said to me, ‘there is no such thing as work-life balance. There is only life!’

Yeah, right. Feck. Right. Off with that viewpoint because I disagree. (If only I had said that then, back then I just nodded in agreement, like a nob-end, she was the boss after all)

As for this idea of multitasking, Nah mate, your brain doesn’t work that way. You are not multitasking, you are multi switching, and in that switching, YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION.

‘I am, I am multitasking. I have that ability.’ will be your response. Nah, mate, you can’t.

Try telling that sh*t to the people who have caused deadly accidents on the road when they have been ‘multitasking’ on their phone and turned their mind and attention blind…

Boom, a deadly crash, yet the person who caused the accident claims they were in complete control. No, you weren’t. That’s why you crossed lanes and killed that family. 

(This is in memory of my sister, who was killed in a car crash by a drunk driver. Using a phone while driving has been proven to provide the same level of depleted cognitive ability as buckets of alcohol)

“Think of task switching as less like multitasking and more like juggling. You have a couple different balls in the air, but you’re only really touching one at a time. You are catching and releasing quickly and hopefully paying just enough attention to the other balls that as they are coming down, you can swoop in and catch a new one just after releasing the prior.”

There is a ton of studies that tells you that you can not multitask. Get it in your head.

Ok, I am in a rip of a mood today. I will tell you why. I was doing a presentation, and every f*cker was getting distracted by the phones. It was off-putting. If I bother to do the job to prepare, do the work to listen or get the f*ck out.

And before you say it, I am a decent enough presenter, and the information was engaging, and it was on a passion topic, so my energy was up on level eleven. Oh, and this idea, ‘I am using my phone to take notes’… F*CK off, I have frigging eyes. I see the text messages coming in and you responding immediately.

It can fucking wait. What is so desperately instantly needing a response. Not much, and it sure isn’t a text from your friend sending you a picture of a bag. Yeah, I saw it. Jeezaaas j crikey Bob. Pay attention.

People deserve it.

So next time you claim to be multitasking, shut the f*ck up and stop telling yourself damn lies. You are not. You are switching your attention quickly. 

Next time do yourself a favour.

Put down the phone or whatever it is you are doing and give the person in front of you the full attention that they deserve.

They will thank you for it when they talk to others. They will tell others how great a leader you are, and they will anchor it to authenticity. They will believe in you…

Because that attention matters.

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