by Jon Owens, AAP Group Publisher
Ever hear the motto, “Speed kills?” I guess most haven’t in this multi-tasking world.
Why does everybody want to go so fast? Why does everybody think they have to “multi-task” to get ahead? Where is everybody going, and why are they doing so many things at once? Nothing good has ever come from going as fast as you can, all the time. So here’s my confession: I’m slow.
I like slow. After all, slow and steady win the race, right? Well, maybe “slow” isn’t the right term. It’s more like “even-keeled” or maybe even “patient.” I like the results I get when I take the time to mind the details and do it right.
So what about multi-tasking? Everybody does it, right? More and more data is available that proves that the quality of work we do suffers as the number of simultaneous tasks increases. In other words, quantity often eclipses quality. Research shows that going fast and multi-tasking can sacrifice a worker’s attention to detail and that could prove costly down the road. The devil’s in the details, right? A 2005 Hewlett-Packard study found that the average worker lost 10 IQ points when interrupted during the test by a ringing phone or an incoming e-mail.
Parts professionals across the country must be laughing out loud! Somehow they manage to do their jobs in an environment with constant interruptions. However, according to an article from the Newhouse News Service, when it comes to multi-tasking and the super-efficient feeling we get by accomplishing several tasks at once, experts warn that instead of completing three tasks in the space of one, we’re really spending more time to achieve mediocre results.
As an example, we recently ran a story on aftermarketNews that was clear, concise and had no mistakes. Yet several people misinterpreted the information, calling to ask questions and get clarifications. People who were in a hurry to get through all their daily tasks, glossed over it and in doing so, misunderstood it. They were “speed reading” (no time to waste!), or multi-tasking and clearly didn’t pay attention or focus on the details of the information that was presented.
Granted, this is a minor example, but it clearly points out the inefficiencies of trying to be super efficient. They took the time to open the story and read the information, but glanced over it so fast that they didn’t achieve their one simple goal: comprehension.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of this on a daily basis in all forms and types of business and in our own personal lives as well. Do more and do it faster. That seems to be the charge for all facets of life. In the same Newhouse News Service story, an expert from Syracuse University says, “Research that’s looked at multi-tasking shows that you can’t do it well. No one can.”
Quality, attention and detail be damned! Just “git-r-done.”
We’re all guilty, me included. But, here’s some advice: Take the time to strategize, thoroughly review, calculate the ramifications and risks, pay attention to the details, develop a process and then continuously refine it. In other words, take the time to think it through and do it right. Then, you can go as fast as you can!