Multi-tasking and Invisible Gorillas

Continuing from the last invisible gorilla video I posted last week I want to continue the conversation on how we sometimes can misinterpret and misread what is happening around us.  

This video shows how oblivious we are to things around us when we are focused on a task. Even if we think we know what to look out for in this video, there is a chance that you will miss out some very obvious things happening right in front of your eyes.  If you have seen this before, the test becomes easier, if not you should try it …

Did you miss the gorilla? Of the other 2 obvious things? We have blind spots and change blindness. Even w
hen we are focused on the task at hand we are oblivious to things happening right in front of us. What then are the chances that we will miss out on obvious and important things when we multi-task (do more than 1 thing at the same time)?

If you are a multi-tasker, think before you embark on your next parallel processing project.
When you multi-task, you may be compromising and missing key points in your tasks and end up being half as productive. Worse than that you could be endangering yourself or someone else. Are you aware of the disruptive and destructive cost of multi-tasking

Do not be deceived to think that we can perform well when we do "parallel processing". Our brain does not do parallel processing, but switches between jobs. This is not only tiring but slows things down as we need time to contextualize the tasks. To be productive you need to carve out time to be "single-minded"ly focus before you move on to the next. Otherwise we burn fuel and energy inefficiently 
and do not accomplish much except generate a lot of frustrations and may even cause harm to ourselves and others.

This video offers many rich lessons for us. I would just like to invite you to decide on what you want to focus on now at work and at home. What would you want to focus your thoughts on? Your emotions? For that is all that you will see and that will become reality for you so long as you choose to focus on them.

Now will be a good time to take out a piece of paper and jot down one thing you want to focus on at work and at home each. One project that you want to work on, one new habit to form, one new frame of mind, one new skill to learn. Choose one and work on it for 30 days before you move onto the next. That is the path to productivity

We are putting ourselves at a disadvantage when we choose to multi-task on important tasks. That is why Oprah is encouraging people to take the no text-ing pledge while driving. This is not saving you any time or making you an efficient person. This is increasing the chance of you missing the invisible gorilla. To be productive, stay focus.  

Earlier version of the invisible gorilla video can be viewed here.
*The Invisible Gorilla is written by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simon. More about the invisible gorilla here.

Leave a Reply