productivity principle & being pulled away

Productivity Principle no. 81

A single focus is infinitely more productive than a split one.


Much like decreasing the diameter of a pipe will increase the strength of the water flowing out of it, the ability to think and do is optimized when focus is concentrated. Trying to focus on two things at once will diminish the results by much more than half. "Multitasking" only works when all but one of the "tasks" is on automatic, such as driving home and wondering when you got there who actually drove! Rapid refocusing (which is what really happens in knowledge-work environments – from email to phone to interruptions, etc.) does not hinder productivity, as long as there is a clean break from one task to the next, and you are not retracing steps. Work is diminished when the focus is split, or when refocusing requires having to repeat the reframing of context and content for the next task (as in rereading sentences you’ve already read to find your place again).

Copyright 2008, David Allen & Company. All rights reserved.

and trying to focus on two or more projects around the house diminishes results too, I think. 🙂

I wanted to check in with you all.  Work is busy.  Home life is busy and it was the boy’s birthday today.  I just keep getting pulled away from the blog.  I have all these drafts saved up in my posts folder but no mental capacity to finish them.  Since daylight savings started I have been really scatterbrained.  I’m not sure if it’s really DST, spring fever or just having too many things on my plate that are causing it.  My mantra is "people first" these days.  When things get crazy and I am not sure what to let go of, I always remember that family and friends come first.  That is why it is hard to be away from you all, so I am keeping up with everyone elses adventures.

I had a lovely friend recommend The Power of Now and The New Earth to me and I bought both on  Has anyone else read them?

I was reading about the huge ‘self-help’ industry in our country that is constantly offering us new ways to make ourselves better.  It can be a little overwhelming, can’t it?  I was wondering if the home improvement industry is starting to do the same thing.  We used to live in a time where your average homeowner did not change their home or decor for 25 years and now we are constantly changing, updating, redecorating and moving.  Are we on the hunt for the perfect home?  Are we just lucky to live in a time in which we are more aware of how our environments affect us emotionally and have access to the resources to fashion a happy place?  Are we trying to keep up with the design-joneses?  Maybe a combination of everything. 

That lovely friend and I talked about the impact that our environment has on our well-being or lack there of and the need for a lot more awareness about it.  Just some random (or maybe not-so-random) things I have been thinking about.  We’ve started demanding quality goods and Target has brought us "Design for All".  We (all of us) need to start demanding quality spaces, at home, at work, in our communities and in our cities and big companies like Toll Brothers will start to listen.  I am sure of it.

We had an early spring bbq here for the boy’s birthday today.  I tried two recipes from Cottage Living, Lemon Dill Potato Salad and Leek and Onion Tart with Herb Chevre which were very good and delicious respectively.

I wish you lots of sunshine.  It’s good for you.

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