Another Reason to Put Down Your Phone

(Writer’s Note: This post is actually a few years old. But I recently stumbled across it in our archive, and it remains just as relevant today as it was when I first wrote it in 2013. In many ways, this problem has gotten WORSE. Anyway… this is a problem many of us are prone to, and that does damage to all our work relationships.) 

Earlier this week, someone told me that “they are more efficient when they multitask.”

Yeah… right.

This will be a short post today, because the efficiency of multi-tasking is a complete myth, and pretty easy to debunk. And there is tons of detail to prove it, including this recent spot on NPR. In an earlier post, I pleaded with you to put down the phone or close the laptop and respect your colleagues in meetings. And if the “respect your colleagues” logic didn’t resonate with you, then how about this?

You are far less efficient than you think you are when you try to do multiple things at once. Period. It is less efficient on the individual level, and massively inefficient on the organizational level. When everyone is multi-tasking, and no one is listening to each other, that is the foundation for inefficiency.

So regardless of what motivates you — respecting others, or being good at your job, or both — there are plenty of reasons to focus on the conversation or the meeting you are in. Be present. Be mindful of the people right in front of you. You’ll be better. Your organization will be better. And you will be respectful.

What’s not to like about that?

Have a great day.

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.