So, there is this ongoing debate about people being able to multi-task. There is an argument that some people are better at multi-tasking than others. There really is no debate, however, because it’s been proven over and over again that we as humans CANNOT MULTI-TASK. Rather, we are not able to do two things at the same time with full concentration.
Sure, people think they can. We can go as rudimentary as rubbing our stomachs while patting our heads. Or, we can go a bit more complex like texting while driving (bad thing to do, but people do it all the time), cooking and cleaning, typing while looking at something else (I can do this J). Let me be clear, you can do two tasks in the same “time space,” but you are not doing them at the same time. You are doing one and then doing the other. It gives you the “feel” of doing them at the same time, when in fact, you are doing them separately.
An actress friend of mine argued with me about this while we were on set. She said, “I can write with both hands at the same time.” I gave here a piece of paper and two pencils and she wrote her name with both hands at the same time. It’s pretty cool to see! Try it sometime, it’s fascinating. Then, I asked her to write her name with one hand and mine with the other hand. “Ugh, what? Lol. She couldn’t do it.
What’s my point? Let me ask a philosophical question: What are your goals in life, career, and money wise? If you’ve already achieved it, congratulations! How did you do it? Let me help you answer that… “Hard work, determine and…FOCUS.”
My son is about to turn 5 years old in a couple of weeks. He’s a very inquisitive kid. He was so excited last night because he started a new school. It’s a Montessori school and honestly, I’m excited about it, too! Well, his godfather is a genius of a man. I’m not just saying this as he’s the co-creator of Six Sigma (google it).
A couple of years ago, he was talking to me about the Law of Complexity. The Law, in laymen’s terms, says that, when you focus your efforts on ONE THING, CONSISTENTLY, you have a very high probability of success. When you add a second thing into the mix, your chances of success decrease by over 10%. If you add a third thing into the bowl, you virtually have no chance of success, save luck or a miracle.
He demonstrated this to me in a couple of science experiments and in an Excel spreadsheet. I “saw it.” I thought that I had it. But, I’m the type of person that has the tendency to take on more and more things at once. I’ve had some success but still have yet to experience the breakthrough success I am looking for. He was talking to me about what to do. Again, I “saw it.” I saw the experiment. I understood the principle. Yet, the application was another thing entirely.
My son has been asking me to go to a museum for a few weeks. So, I bought a membership to the Science Museum and we went. The Science Museum is a fascinating place and there, they have an entire section on how the brain works. There are several games you can play to test your brain. One of those games is a computer game called, for lack of a better term, The Multi-Tasking Game.
The game starts out simple enough, you have to balance a red ball on a thick black line that moves up and down like a see-saw. After “mastering” that task (12 seconds), the game pauses. It then introduces the second task. You have to move a blue light, up and down to avoid black spikes coming at it from both directions. You also have to balance the ball. If either mess up on either of those tasks, you fail and the game is over.
If you are able to do both tasks for 20 seconds, the game pauses again, and a 3rd task is introduced. You get a green box to move around to connect with other boxes that appear on the screen. These boxes disappear after 10 seconds and, if they disappear on you, the game is over. Oh yeah, you have to also complete the other two tasks at the same time.
Finally, if you somehow are able to do those 3 tasks, a 4th task is introduced. You have a line on the left and a line on the right and a ball bouncing back and forth in between them. You have to do this while doing the other 3 tasks…
Well, of course, I had to try this! The first time that I did it, I was able to do it for 44 seconds. My best time was 1 minute and 6 seconds. The average..? About 28 seconds. What does this mean? Simple…YOU CAN’T MULTI-TASK!
If you want to be successful in this life, stop arguing this provable FACT, pick something that you LOVE, something that is in line with your VALUES, FOCUS on it, LEARN everything you can at it, FAIL at it and learn from your failures and KEEP MOVING FORWARD with it. This is how you achieve true success and breakthrough in this life.
And, stop texting and driving before you hurt somebody…yourself included. J
And…rather than trying to prove me wrong, learn the lesson as quickly as possible, get focused on something that you love to do, sooner rather than later so you can enjoy your life to the fullest. YOU WILL HAVE YOUR MIRACLE BREAKTHROUGH.
PS: The mind cannot hold a positive and negative thought at the same time, either. So, determine how you want to feel… 😉
Larry Tank Jones is an actor, producer, philanthropist, and motivational speaker that loves to push himself and others to be the best they can be.
He has acted in dozens of movies, the most notable being “Three Kings,” and has appeared in several television shows, including NCIS, CSI: Miami, Breaking Bad and more. He has a leading role in the historical film, Union Bound, which is set to be released in April.
Tank Jones is also a producer, he is currently producing the series Fire and Ice, and is the co-producer of the very successful Latin Comedy Jam comedy tour.
In addition to his film career, Tank is a motivational speaker who has traveled the country speaking on behalf of his nonprofit organization, Choices Empowerment. Choices Empowerment was founded in 2003 to promote diversity and to help encourage elementary, middle and high school students to have a positive outlook toward themselves and their goals.