Tuesday, February 16, 2010

You cannot chase two rabbits at the same time

…or can you? I think the answer lies somewhere in between.

When pondering on chasing two rabbits, our ability to multitask comes to mind- an ability that’s valued by many in our contemporary world. Employers often call for this ability in job specs. With a zillion tasks hanging over heads, multitasking is often the only way to get things done. To the extent that if you aren’t skilled at doing three things at once, you could find yourself feeling a little unproductive.

So we go about: reading emails, driving, surfing the net… whilst on the phone; listening to someone whilst sending a text message; watching TV, eating and having a conversation all at the same time. Is our full attention then given to any one task at a time? And how does this impact the quality of our outputs? Also, how often don’t we feel a little overwhelmed by what is expected of us.

Whilst this ability has the benefit of: getting many tasks done, preventing boredom; and contributing to our feeling of fulfilment, it can also be to our detriment by: half paying attention to tasks at hand; impacting the quality of our work; and failure to complete tasks whilst attempting to juggle.

I think that multitasking has the power to be of great benefit and can also serve as a disadvantage. The art is in how we use it. It’s about knowing when and what you need to give your full attention to and those things that can easily be juggled without compromising on the quality of our outputs.

Here I suggest that tasks need to be prioritised in terms of their importance and duration required to complete them. Weigh up the value of the task and assess what needs full attention against those tasks that can easily be juggled. For example, completing an assignment/report may certainly require my full attention whilst I can easily note a little to-do list or send a message whilst waiting in queue at SARS or at the dentist.

So, by all means, run like Forest although choose your rabbits carefully.


  1. What a great discription of what I feel like in my daily tasks, Jack of all trades...master of a few.

    At the end of the day all tasks are done, but striving for perfection, as most of us are, we don's always feel that we have done all we could.

    Personally, the longer I am in this business, the easier prioritization seems to get.

  2. I am absolutely loving your writing!!! It is superb!!
    Am emailing this one to my work address, and sticking it up.
    With your permission, would love to circulate to some of my friends at work??
    Feb 17, 2010 at 1:17 AM

  3. Perfect!i wouldnt have explained it better myself.your right,you can, its matter of choosing the right rabbits that you can manage.doing one things a time, its time consuming. welldone Woman,well defined.