I know there are a lot of smart women out there in supervisory positions, teaching positions, administrative positions, or students of business who probably know the concepts I'm about to riff off today. This is my personal musing on a couple of things that have been used to make folks more productive and effective on the job. As such, they often bleed over into self-improvement programs, weight loss and athletic training... all these areas tend to borrow from one another. Because they are really about effectiveness.
The concepts that have been rattling around in my brain this week are "multi-tasking" and "continuous improvement". I'm contending that these are at least in some degree, myths.
Multi-tasking has long been used as a buzz word when the boss gives you a whole lot of priority 1 responsibilities... "you'll just have to multi-task". Well, I don't know about YOUR brain, but mine can only give its full attention to one thing at a time. And while most of the time I can tease it into focusing on the "most important" or the "most urgent" task in front of me... if there are too many competing priorities, it tends to shut down.
So... while it's a fine concept for teaching, it's important to remember that it *is* after all a bit of a myth... and try to limit the number of "#1" priorities on my list. Otherwise a kind of "thrashing" of the brain happens as it attempts to "multitask", which truly means switching tasks so that the #1's get equal attention.
This translates into the advice to choose a small number of Spark goals at a time. Maybe the WHOLE weight management area looks too big and you end up thrashing... but focus on ONE thing, like drinking your water, or tracking your food... and it comes out better.
Same has proven true of the swim lessons I've been taking. By focus on just one element at a time, I build habits that carry along... but I notice that while I'm putting my attention on arm action in certain drills? The legs go limp and don't want to play along. Face it folks, a dancer I am not. Some people are gifted at the kind of multi tasking that requires... me? Not so much.
Continuous improvement, on the other hand, overused, can lead to two different things. It can lead to unrealistic expectations. The old anecdote about the farmer's training program... pick up the calf every day as it grows, and you'll be able to lift the grown bull? You get the idea... bar keeps being raised under this concept. Which can cause the Polly Perfectionist voice to kick in and say "you'll NEVER be good enough, why try?"
However, used judiciously, both of these concepts can help us live richer, more balanced, and healthy lives.
Multi-tasking can teach me that I MUST make time for my health. Continuous improvement can have me always stretching. As long as I remember to keep my balance, and recognize that there *is* a peak and there *are* valleys in that improvement.
The biggest mistake I could make would be to listen to the "why try?" message. For there are SO many reasons to keep trying. For one thing... we never know what that peak will be, unless we try to go beyond it.
LIFE is good, my friends. Live it fully... and Spark a great weekend!