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Beating the Odds

Focusing on 12 Things

Today I heard a woman say with some pride that she “can do 12 things at once.”

She also said, with not as much pride, that her daughter can only do one thing at a time.


By being able to do “only” one thing at a time, her daughter owns the key to success. Doing “only” one thing at a time is a gift, not a limitation.

“I can’t do two things at once,” said Helena Bonham Carter. “I can’t even do one thing at once.”

Great things come to people who can define a task and then stay with it through completion. Narrow focus helps you beat the odds, win the big prize. It’s a basic part of your mental game. Multitasking is the enemy of quality.

“Multitasking is a way of screwing up several things at once,” a wise person once said.

Besides, the ability to focus on more than one thing at a time is a myth. You can switch quickly from one thought to another, but your brain cannot hold two simultaneously.

“To do two things at once is to do neither,” said ancient writer Publilius.

I’m not sure what the woman who can 12 things at a time does for a living, but I would bet on the quality of the work turned in by the daughter who can do “only” one thing.

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2 comments for “Focusing on 12 Things”

  1. I really enjoyed that article, especially after watching a video showing you how to have follow through with one idea at a time and building a bridge between you and that idea before building another. Timing is everything right?

    Posted by Lynn Stevens | May 6, 2012, 11:02 pm
  2. Hi!

    One thing at a time is plenty!

    Posted by Coach Tully | May 7, 2012, 1:07 am

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