I'mTooBusyTooTellBy now you may have heard the awful truth. Multi-tasking is a lie. It does not make us more productive, more get-it-all-done, more “Oprah-esque.” Multi-tasking makes us idiots. Yup, multi-tasking can lower our I.Q.s by up to 30 points. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to lose those points.

To be fair, multi-tasking is ok in regard to manual tasks. You can indeed be doing your laundry and vacuuming your rugs at the “same time.” But multi-tasking hampers the intellectual, reasoning and creative areas of the brain — the parts you need to use to produce great work.

We live in a culture obsessed with productivity but we’ve confused being productive with being busy. We’re busy with technology that promises to make us more productive, busy with streaming content, busy with…email. We’ve become so busy “multi-tasking” that many of us have become almost incapable of holding a singular focus. We need to change the model. And that’s where leadership comes in.

If we want our teams to perform optimally, we need to role model a better path to productivity.

The heart of all leadership is to lead by example. We can be “busy” leaders or we can be “productive” ones. Take a quick look at this “Busy vs. Productive Leader” chart. Which side do you land on?

Busy_ProductiveWhen we show up as productive leaders and invite our staff to model the behaviours that are helping them be more productive, then we raise the bar for everyone. Focus will improve, objectives will be clearer and you’ll achieve more with fewer problems.

Lead by example. Lead with focus. Rock your results.

Empowering change agent, Maureen “Mo” Douglas delivers powerfully positive public, workplace and leadership engagement. Click here for Mo’s FREE e-Guide to Better Public Engagement. Follow her on Twitter.