Friday, September 7, 2007

Football, Big Screen T.V.'s and multi-tasking...

Ahhhhhh - FALL. Time for my favorite (not) sport season; you guessed it - football. And (according to my husband) the only thing better than multiple football games available on multiple days of the week shown on multiple television channels is being able to watch it on a BIG SCREEN T.V. with a split screen feature. For those of you unfamiliar with this - split screen means you can, literally, watch two football games at the same time (but hear the soundtrack from just one game). Wow - who knew…this takes multi-tasking to a whole new level.

When you watch football this way, you can keep track of the score, time left in the quarter, which team has the ball and downs for two games simultaneously. However, it is pretty tough to really focus very seriously on both games. Your attention tends to be drawn to the game that you can hear. All in all, it makes for some very mediocre football viewing.

So, where's the business application in all of this?

While multi-tasking is certainly a useful time saving strategy - be careful when and where you use it. One example is team coaching calls. It can be difficult to be a good coach if you are clearing email, doing dishes or playing a game with your child while attempting to conduct a coaching call. Your team member won't get the benefit of your full attention and she probably can tell that you are distracted.

Proactively set good ground rules (15 minutes/no distractions/take notes/be solution oriented/set goals and schedule a follow up “results” call); ultimately you will save more time than when attempting to multi-task.

Obviously in some circumstances, multi-tasking is appropriate and necessary. Only you can be the best judge as to when and where it will work best for you and your business. By the way, if you are thinking of watching two football games and doing your phoning all at the same time - I wouldn't recommend it.

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