January 16, 2015

Multi-tasking is like driving and french-kissing

I’ve thought about writing my thoughts on Back to Work for a while now. Here’s some stuff I gleaned from Back to Work 202. It isn’t necessarily what Merlin or Dan said (if it is, it’ll be in quotes), just my personal highlights.

  • You shouldn’t organize anything you don’t want or need.”

  • I also really love throwing stuff out. It feels incredibly cathartic, and I rarely miss things I actually toss.

  • I don’t have any shoeboxes of stuff. Is this a thing people have?

  • I’m definitely cautious about putting stuff in plastic boxes. If I need to use something regularly, that systen puts it enough out of my mind that I don’t remember it existing. If I don’t want it in my life, it’s taking up physical space I could use for other things. (Apartment living helps with this issue)

  • You should not have anything in your life that is not contributing to the life you’d like to have.” - Merlin quoting It’s All Too Much”

  • I’m too sick to go to the doctor”

  • You’re not really throwing away your childhood by throwing away stuff from your childhood

  • If a time traveler hasn’t come back to stop you, your decisions haven’t been all that bad.”

  • I’m fascinated by the idea that the more money people make, the less likely they are to do something that isn’t making them more money.

  • Merlin’s breakdown of how people think successful multitasking works is exactly how I work when I’m multitasking”: I’m not so much juggling as allowing things to slowly boil while I do other stuff. This used to be easier back when there were loading times on computers, when a file export could take long enough for a smoke break.

  • Essentially, multitasking is really just being pretty good about switching between two actions, not doing two things at the same time. The cooking metaphor works here.

  • High skill + Low Challenge = Relaxation

  • Multi-tasking is like driving and french kissing. Before you say you’re great at it, ask around.”

  • I loved Dan’s point about wanting to have had today’s connectivity in the past. He doesn’t wax nostalgic about a simpler time, which is something I completely get. Doing the things an iPhone is good at before smart phones just sucked.

Merlin Mann

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