☆ Three ways to avoid the negative impact of multitasking

There was a time in my life when I thought, my mind can process and manage all different challenges at the same time perfectly well, I learned in the meantime that multitasking is not always the best thing to do.

Pause right now for a moment and think about all the things you are currently doing right now. Obviously, you are reading this article, but chances are you’re also doing several things at once. Perhaps you’re also having an ongoing virtual meeting, are in the middle of texting a friend, checking your email in another browser tab, or planning your next tasks with one part of your brain. Doing all those activities at once is called “multitasking”.

According to a study conducted at Stanford University, very often, instead of increasing our productivity, multitasking affects our creativity, effectivity, motivation and mood negatively. Based on this research, especially those people who are regularly loaded with a lot of electronic information do even pay less attention, can less control their memory, and are more likely to switch from one task to another.

Here are my 3 ways on how to effectively avoid the possible harmful impact of multitasking:

Limit the number of things you juggle at any given time. Clever combination should be observed in order to avoid the negative effect of multitasking. Be aware that only a combination of these tasks performed simultaneously provide you with the positive aspects of multitasking: a) A few, habitual tasks like running while listening to music b) One task that requires most of your attention plus one habitual task like listening to a podcast while doing maintenance tasks c) One complex task, your most productive task that will require you more time and attention, can only be managed on its own.

Use the “20-minute rule.” Instead of constantly switching between tasks, try to fully devote your attention to one task for 20 minutes before switching to the other. Make use of your smartphone alarm if required.

Become aware of the times when you’re multi-tasking. There’s a good chance you might do it so much that you don’t even notice when you’re doing it. „Mindful beyond business“ is also the key here. The more awareness you have of your own behavior, the better you will be able to decide what kind of stress level you would like your body and mind to expose.

Doing one task at a time may help you to be more productive and it may make each task for you less stressful and simply more enjoyable.

Source: https://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/august24/multitask-research-study-082409.html

☆ People believe what they want to believe

We all interpret facts different as it is about our whole outlook on the world. This is a wild mix of our DNA, the way we were raised and the experiences we made in the past. Not only this but also how we view and judge ourselves as well as what our friends believe play a crucial role in our outlook on the world.

Tell me, have you ever had a dynamic as well as heated discussion in which your counterpart said you were right in your argumentation and that he has therefore changed his point of view? Imagine yourself discussion religious belief or politics and showing up with a strong argumentation line.

Did you ever succeed to convince the other one of your opinion because of the facts you have had prepared for the talk? Or because of the long speak rich of deep words or the statistics you have worked out?

Me personally not. A change of mind like this barely occurs in discussions that are emotionally touching.

The reason for this behavior is simple. We keep certain opinions, yes. But we do not maintain our views because they rely on the underlying facts. Therefore, it is not likely that the counterparts change their minds when you bring up arguments.

What really happens is we form our beliefs with the help of our gut feeling. After that, we rationalize our opinions and are in constant search for facts that are supporting our belief. Again, the facts are not leading us to a certain view. It is more the way around: our gut feeling is the base of our belief and we back it up with arguments.

When debating, neither your words, nor your facts or any statistics will make the other one change her or his view. She or he will always believe in what they want to believe.

It is completely nonsense to insist on changing her/ his view.

Actually, it is even a waste of time.

And same applies for me. If someone wants to change my belief system, it will not work. I am not saying that it is impossible to change what I believe in. What I say is that it cannot be changed externally.

For a change, you need an internal experience. You and I have to live it for ourselves. You cannot do it for me. And I cannot do it for you.

Just look back in life: how often have you changed your beliefs. Whether a cold pizza is better than a warm one. Whether real love really exists. Whether you believe in god or not. When did you stop voting for the socialist party and when did you decide for divorce?

In how many cases the reason for this change was the outcome of an intense discussion with your wife or colleague? And how often did your believe change to what happened in your life as e.g the death of a close family member or the knowledge that your husband cheated on you? Maybe you were also newly surrounded by different people who live a new life ethic codex? Or you moved out of your old home town?

My point is that it is very probable that you changed your beliefs yourself. You had no one who changed the beliefs for you. You changed your belief system because you adopted to a fresh situation or a new environment.

So, next time you are in a heated situation in which you or your counterpart is holding on her or his view, keep in mind that most probably you will not changing the person’s view. Even if you consider her or his view as dumb and stupid. At the same time I am not saying you should not speak up to tell your truth. Just be aware that chances to shift your partner from one perspective to another one are realistically pretty low.

☆Three ways to keep your attention level high

I’m pretty sure you know those moments, when we are keen on finishing a professional task or another project milestone but instead of completing it, we get distracted. And as soon as we get distracted, our attention is – of course – divided. You might not only get distracted by scheduled meetings but also by your own inner world, your mind. 

Here are my personal top three tools to keep my focus level high and to play out my mind: 

1. Use multitasking only for very selected, simple activities 

Our attention space is more limited than we think it is. Multitasking is not to recommend – unless it is a matter of habits, i.e. things that our mind can handle without much effort. Therefore, stop multitasking except you are making your laundry or cooking spaghetti. Decide for yourself, which of your daily tasks require full awareness and which part can live with just a „part of your brain” being present. You are adult enough.

2. Watch your mind and call it back when it starts to wander around

Our brain is build to crave for new, constant stimulation, and immediate gratification. It creates something called a “compulsion loop”. With various distractions pulling us in many different directions during a working day, keeping us focused on the important, and most urgent tasks that requires maximum attention often become difficult for us. Our brain simply want to move away from the task and rather think about the next vacation, how to get a coffee or how to solve the issue with the neighbor. 

One of the best practices for managing your attention is called meta-awareness where you become aware of what you’re thinking. Simply start noticing what occupies your mind. You’ll most probably notice that your focused mind expands and shrinks depending on your mood. Your mind is constantly changing as do the clouds in the sky. The more you notice what’s occupying your thoughts and the less you judge them, the faster you can get back on track when your mind begins to wander. 

Awareness is key here. 

3. Have a plan for the next day before you go to bed 

Always make sure to leave enough time to accomplish complex, creative tasks. To improve effectiveness, decide even the night before on the most important thing you want to accomplish the next morning. Start every day with a plan and commit to it.

Own your attention. 

#mindfullness #empowerment #mentoring #management #creativity #technology #future #careers #motivation #productivity


I was once reading about one – another – way HOW to see the world. I don’t know whether I will find the right words but I think the story was the following ….

What if we all received a card play with birth. 

Some of us get better cards than others. 

It is pretty easy to get hung up on your cards and feel to got screwed over. 

But that is not what the game is about. 

The real game lies 
1) in the choices we make with those cards, 
2) when you play which card, 
3) which risk you are willing to take and 
4) the consequences you chose to live with.

I just remember this concept as I found this picture taken during a great summer girls night. 
Three women enjoying the time spent together. 
All of them have different cards to play in their hands.

A whole individual card deck to play life with.

And each of us succeeded to play their game of life with what life have to offer.

I believe there is so much more in each of us, we “just” have to get connected to our inner energy, our power bank. My goal is to wake people up by showing what is possible in life. I want them to take immediate control of their lives.

☆ Geht Kreativität auch im Home Office?

In den letzten Monaten durften viele von uns von zuhause aus weiter arbeiten. 

Im Austausch mit manchen Führungskräften habe ich dabei die folgende Frage vernommen: „Können sich Kreativität und Innovation wirklich entfalten, wenn mein Team nur digital miteinander arbeitet? 

Dass das funktioniert zeigt nun eine frische Studie der Universitäten Köln und Hannover. Die Studie ergab, dass es für den kreativen Output keinen relevanten Unterschied zwischen digitaler und persönlicher Kommunikation gab. Das Kreativitätslevel im Team wird beibehalten. Anders ist das hingegen, wenn der kreative Austausch schriftlich in Chat Rooms mit dem Team stattfindet. 

Das Ergebnis überrascht mich nun nicht besonders, weil Kreativität auch von Spontanität und Mut lebt. Etwas auszusprechen ist „leichter“ als es schriftlich niederzuschreiben und auf das geschriebene Wort später ggf. sogar nochmals „festgenagelt“ zu werden. 

Meine Learnings:

  1. Kreativität kann sich im virtuellen Raum mit dem Team genauso entwickeln wie vor Ort bei persönlichen Treffen im gemeinsamen Meetingroom.
  2. Ob dies tatsächlich gelingt hängt im wesentlichen von der Wahl des Kommunikationsmittels ab: gemeinsame Calls sind einem Austausch im Chat Room dabei aber vorzuziehen.