MY TWO CENTS:
Since the last edition of MTC, I finished reading another book by Simon Sinek. This one is entitled Leaders Eat Last. Many people know him for his book entitled Start With Why, his viral TED talk on the same topic, or even some of the points I’ve shared in prior MTC editions. If you haven’t read either of these books, I’d encourage you to dig in…very good stuff!!
With teenagers in our home, we find we’re in a consistent battle for their attention. Between school work, sports activities, friends, the TV, and the now ubiquitous mobile devices, the distractions are at an all-time high. In his book, Simon shares some thoughts about what he calls the “Distracted Generation” of people growing up with continual inputs from a myriad of sources.
Many times those of us who are good at juggling tasks will pat ourselves on the back stating that we’re good at multi-tasking. Here’s what he has to say about that:
“According to brain researches, true multitasking does not actually exist. Rather, what we are doing is ‘mental juggling’ or ‘rapid toggling between tasks.’ In other words, we aren’t doing two things at once, we are merely switching back and forth between things. Despite what multitaskers might think, transitioning between tasks does not happen quickly or smoothly, particularly if complex tasks are involved. It takes time for our brains to reset and return, reset and return. Multitasking, it turns out, does not make us faster or more efficient. It actually slows us down.”
When I read (and highlighted) that section, it made me pause and reflect on my own tendencies. Sure…I get irritated when I have to say something two or three times to my teenagers because they were “multitasking” with their phones. But, how many times have I done the same thing to my wife, my kids, my friends, and those who deserve my attention?
The challenge in a world of distractions is to be truly present. In being present, we are given the opportunity to be fully engaged. In being fully engaged, we’re blessed with really getting to know those around us. In knowing those around us, we find ourselves leaning toward love and empathy for them and what matters to them.
If making a positive difference in our little corner of the world is to become a reality, we need to lean into and value our relationships. If that silly device to which I have my eyes glued is keeping me distracted and in “multitask mode,” I need to lift my eyes, reduce my distractions, and see those around me.
Anybody else want to join me on this journey of being more present and less distracted? Please drop me a note if this resonated with you and we can encourage each other on the journey.
Make it a great week!!
Scott Cousino, CFP®, CEPA®