Are you flat-out trying to power through a massive To-Do list that never, ever ends? The conventional wisdom is to ‘multi-task’ – to do lots of things at once, as many as humanly possible.

But look around; even the most seasoned multi-taskers still exist in a frantic, chaotic 24/7 world, because, like ‘power-napping’, ‘quality-time’ and ‘work-life balance’, multi-tasking is a myth.

Here’s a fact: you only have 100% to devote to anything, so the more things you do at once, the more divided your attention becomes. You can do one thing extremely well or a number of things very badly.

When one thing is well done it tends to stay done. Cross it off the list and forget all about it.

A thing done badly is never really done at all: it keeps coming back from the dead like some sort of zombie; so a whole lot of badly done things will stagger after you like a zombie apocalypse.

If this sounds familiar then here’s your new To-Do list:

    1. Stop
    2. Breathe
    3. Pick one thing that is closest to disaster
    4. Direct 100% of your attention to it until it’s sorted it out
    5. Cross it off the list
    6. Focus 100% on the next zombie
    7. Repeat steps 4 – 6 as necessary

When you finally reach the point where you find yourself with not much to do and all the time in the world to do it, you’ll discover the miracle of ‘uni-tasking’, the joy of Spreading Yourself Thick.

And of course, time to think.

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Written by Jason Clarke

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Celebrated author, adventurer, gold medal Olympian and popular TV chef; Jason is none of these things. He is, however, one of the most sought-after creative minds in the country. As founder of Minds at Work, he’s helped people ‘think again’ since the end of the last century, working with clients across Australia in virtually every industry and government sector on issues ranging from creativity and trouble shooting to culture change and leadership.