Motivating Employees: Understanding Mind Management Part 3 of 6

Posted by on November 2, 2009 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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 Your mind can only hold on thought at a time.

Whenever I broach this subject in my seminars, females in the audience always challenge me.  They are under the impression – along with most other people – that we can all multi-task.   

Unfortunately, this is incongruent with how your mind works. 



With a pen on a piece of paper, draw a number 6.  Draw it nice and big.  As you are now sitting, pick up the foot of the hand you write with.  In other words, if you are right-handed, pick p your right foot.  Make a clock-wise circle with this foot.  After several seconds of making this circle, continue with the circle and then draw another “6” on the page.  What has happened to your clock-wise foot circle?


You will notice that your foot changed direction as you drew your 6.  This is because your mind can only hold one thought at a time.  While you were making the circle, that was the focus of your actions.  But, when you started drawing the number 6, your dominant thought changed and that caused your foot to follow the new dominant thought – that being the counter-clockwise movement required to draw the number 6.


When we “multi-task” we effectively fragment our thought processes.  We shuttle our thoughts and focus between the different activities we are engaged in, spending seconds at a time focusing on each of the tasks.  As such, you’ve probably found yourself driving your vehicle while talking on your mobile phone.  Sooner or later, you may have found yourself somewhere along your route with little or no recollection of several kilometers of your journey.  This happens when your focus was diverted from your surroundings by the intensity of your phone conversation.


Lack of focus and the fragmentation that occurs through our attempts to multi-task impact s negatively on our performance.  When I first start working with athletes I ask them to complete a simple focus task.  All I require from them is to spend one meal focusing only on the meal.  No distractions.  I need them to concentrate totally on their food.  Its texture, taste, temperature, smells, and the feelings the food evokes etc.  They find this incredibly difficult since most people have transformed meal times into social events, TV watching opportunities, discussion time with the family and time to meet other needs.  This by the way is a major contributor to the increase in obesity!


Now think critically about the thoughts you put into your mind, or the thoughts that you are feeding the minds of others.  What are you reading?  What newspapers are you reading?  How do you verbalise your intentions? Do you hold thoughts of possibility or thoughts of hurdles?

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