A Multi-Tasking Question
Last night my boyfriend said to me “We need to figure out a way to harness all of your talents.”
I looked up, half paying attention to him, half trying not to slice a finger. I was standing in the kitchen, knife in hand, chopping vegetables for dinner.
Standing on the other side of the counter, fidgeting with something, he continues, “Yoga teaching … English teaching … writing … real estate …” He trailed off on the last one and gave me that look when I met his gaze and lifted his eyebrows to say – you know?
Yes I know, we work too much. Lots of multi-tasking – or what I’d prefer to to call – pivoting.
He goes on, “I mean, right? There has to be something that combines all of this.”
The two of us share in this thing – the insatiable interest in doing stuff. Even when I remind myself to find comfort and joy in the things I have time to do, I am still constantly searching to do more.
So he makes an interesting point, this boyfriend of mine, and it’s something to which most Millennials can relate. I’ve spent my whole adult life trying to figure out how to squeeze my likes, needs, and talents into a job. When that doesn’t work I squeeze myself into the bounds of time and do all the things I love.
Multi-Tasking through Life
The latest research shows that multi-tasking actually reduces productivity.
For most of us, that’s approximately 99.99% of my life right there. Even now, as I sit writing this post, I’m working on a copywriting project, I’m checking the calorie information on my sasparilla (contemplating a FitBit), and editing my website.
A 2009 study at Stanford University shows that multi-taskers have difficulty focusing and retaining information. Apparently it is additionally difficult for the multi-tasker to tune out unimportant distractions. So with this in mind how much better could we be if we just did one job at a time? So how can we not only do what we love and what we’re good at but also have a life?
A Better Approach for the Millennial Employee/Entrepreneur
With this in mind, I went to an information session the other night for a company called SEED SPOT. It’s here in Phoenix and they’re essentially a launch-pad for new businesses looking to make social impact.
During the session she described the two different approaches to entrepreneurship:
One is a “me-centered” approach (not their words). This means I scour the world for jobs that will accentuate and highlight my talents. If I don’t find it, I build a business or product that will do so. This is all well and good until you realize that you never asked anyone if they wanted your talent, or business, or product, right?
So the second approach is the “problem-solving” approach. This means that you survey your community, land, people, etc. looking for a problem. Once the problem is identified, the organization is born, and the talents pour into the organization.
So that’s it. That’s what I’ve been missing. Millennials of the world, listen! Look for the problem and find the solution! Your propensities and talents will follow!
I have pieces of the puzzle, but I have yet to identify the whole picture. The whole picture isn’t some business I create out of thin air to encapsulate my god-given abilities and preferred time schedule. The whole picture is a combination of said talents and what my community needs. You get your talents, skills, and insights from your current job, internship, or schooling.
For me, I know what I love, and for about 800 reasons, this website encapsulates everything I love. There are other things like public speaking and coaching, that I can’t get from the internet, but it can work out that way over time. Here are a few things I’m asking myself:
- Are the things I’m doing today helping to reach my big-picture goals?
- Do I enjoy the road to get to my goal? Are the small steps interesting or engaging?
- Who do I know that can support me on my path?
- What will my life look like in 5, 10, 20 years if I continue?
- Do I have enough time right now to sustain the life I like to live?
Hope this is helpful to you! If there are things you’d like to add, please feel free to comment below or send me a message here. If you’d like to know more about me and why I write, check it out my About Me page on briannawilkins.com.