In a recent article that stated “multi-tasking is virtually impossible” the author attempted to say that to do something really well requires focus, energy and time, the opposite of multi-tasking. Really? Every successful healthcare manager or CEO or any “C” person understands that to be truly successful, multi-tasking is a huge part of their everyday lives and they have figured out how to do it well. There are a lot of myths about multi-tasking.
- Managing multiple complex projects at the same time
- Giving all the key people in the organization your focus and attention
- Knowing when to say no
- Giving quality time to projects and people not just time
Multi-tasking is not:
- Reading emails during a meeting
- Engaging in two important conversations at the same time
- Always saying yes to win political points
- Running in many directions but no real destination in sight
Which kind of multi-tasking manager are you? Do you know and understand the difference between multi-tasking and simply running in multiple directions? Can you give focus and time during short periods of time that reap huge rewards? But even more importantly, can you set clear priorities to benefit the organization, move it forward and contain cost….all at the same time? Now that is the real definition of multi-tasking!
Successful managers /CEOs are characterized by on-going multi-tasking Tthey don’t spend a great deal of time talking about the value of it; it’s inherent knowledge. It’s the fiber of their days, it’s the one thing that anyone observing can see and appreciate.
Can this skill be learned? Much like leadership, that is clear from an early age or isn’t there at all, successful multi-tasking can be nurtured and developed; but if there seems to be no aptitude for it cannot be invented.