Productivity: Multitasking makes You Dumber than if You Smoked Pot

Productivity for leaders demands wise time management. But will multi-tasking make us better time managers? This study says no.

A study done at the University of London found that constant emailing and text-messaging reduces mental capability by an average of ten points on an IQ test. It was five points for women, and fifteen points for men. This effect is similar to missing a night’s sleep. For men, it’s around three times more than the effect of smoking cannabis. While this fact might make an interesting dinner party topic, it’s really not that amusing that one of the most common “productivity tools” can make one as dumb as a stoner. (David Rock, Your Brain at Work, p. 36)

multitasking

Many leaders, including me, have too often convinced themselves that multi-tasking leads to better time management. Actually, it doesn’t. Researchers have shown that when we try to do two mental tasks at once, our cognitive capacity can drop from that of a Harvard MBA to that of an eight year old (Rock, p. 34).

Although we technicallycan do two tasks at once, it dramatically slows our mental processing. So, if you think you are saving time by multi-tasking, you really aren’t. Neuroscientists call this dual-task interference. Because the high level thinking part of our brain (the pre-frontal cortex) works in a serial fashion, one item at a time, when we multi-task we clog up its processing speed and actually reduce our effectiveness.

Linda Stone, a former VP at Microsoft captured the essence in the term continuous partial attention. She describes it this way. “To pay continuous partial attention is to keep a top-level item in focus, and constantly scan the periphery in case something more important emerges.” As a result, this “always on” mode puts our brains on constant alert, thus flooding them with too much stress hormone which slows processing.

So what can we do to moderate this tendency?

One of the Best Books You will ever Read: Platform

Occasionally a book comes along that I consider a game changer. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World is one of those. Written by Michael Hyatt, one of the world’s most prolific bloggers, it could move you and your message to the next level of influence.

Platform

One of my heroes, John C. Maxwell, says this about it.

 I have watched Michael Hyatt build his own platform from the ground up to become one of the largest in the world. And he has done so with the strategies and tips he outlines in this very practical book. Any author, speaker, or business owner who wants a blueprint for getting the attention and visibility they want, needs to read this book.

As an author myself, I understand the important of expanding my platform. Often I’ve tried to do it in a hit or miss fashion. Platform, however, shows you how to expand your platform, whether you are an author, pastor, public speaker, entrepreneur, musician, or small business owner. It has never been easier, less expensive, or more possible than right now to build your platform and Michael Hyatt will show you how.

Platform offers a step-by-step guide with proven strategies, practical tips and easy-to-replicate formulas.

 If you buy the book this week, between May 21 and 25, you get an incredible amount of bonus content. This week only Michael is giving away $375.98 worth of free bonus content for those who purchase it. Complete details are available at http://michaelhyatt.com/platform

Bonuses include: Platform Video Jumpstart Program (six sessions), How to Write a Winning Book Proposal (two e-books and two audio sessions), Why NOW is the Best Time Ever to Be an Author (hour-long video), Digital Versions of Platform (audio and eBook), and more!

Few books do I endorse more heartily than this one. Take advantage of Michael’s bonus content today and start building or expanding your platform right away!  Check it out today. http://michaelhyatt.com/platform

My Opportunity to be a Part of Something Big

Once in while I get the opportunity to be a part of something truly big. I’m on a bogging team of around 100 bloggers who got to see an advance copy of Michael Hyatt’s new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.

Platform

As an author, I’ve always struggled to understand how to expand my platform. After I read only five pages of Michael’s book I kept telling myself, “If only I had this book a few years ago.”

If you want to build your platform for whatever message you want to convey, buy this book this week because…

…to celebrate the launch of the book this week, Michael is giving away $375.98 worth of free bonus content for those who purchase the book between May 21 and May 25. Complete details are available at http://michaelhyatt.com/platform

I honestly couldn’t put the book down and I consider it a privilege to work with these bloggers.

Brian Alexander Twitter Facebook
Pat Alexander Twitter Facebook
Christa Allan Twitter Facebook
Pilar Arsenec Twitter N/A
Dave Anderson Twitter Facebook
Jason Aten Twitter Facebook
Wanda Ball Twitter Facebook
Joshua Bedford Twitter Facebook
Matthew Bennett Twitter Facebook
Keith Bell Twitter Facebook
Dayna Bickham Twitter Facebook
Craig Booker Twitter Facebook
Cam Brennan Twitter Facebook
Kathy Bruins Twitter Facebook
Kurt Bubna Twitter Facebook
Timothy Burchfield Twitter Facebook
Timothy Burns Twitter Facebook
William Carozza Twitter N/A
Mark Casey Twitter Facebook
Bobbie Cole Twitter N/A
JB Collingsworth Twitter Facebook
Kelly Combs Twitter Facebook
Kimanzi Constable Twitter Facebook
Tor Constantino Twitter Facebook
Nathan Creitz Twitter Facebook
Kelly Croy Twitter Facebook
Rick Crozier Twitter Facebook
Conor Cusack Twitter Facebook
Michele Cushatt Twitter Facebook
Catherine Darnell Twitter Facebook
Karen Davis Twitter Facebook
Mary DeMuth Twitter Facebook
Tim Enochs Twitter Facebook
Jeremy Evans Twitter Facebook
Paul Evans Twitter Facebook
Jared Fabac Twitter Facebook
Blair Farley Twitter Facebook
Keith Ferrin Twitter Facebook
Dan Foster Twitter Facebook
Jarrod Galm Twitter Facebook
Michael Gass Twitter Facebook
Lisa Gipson Facebook
Jeff Goins Twitter Facebook
Jason Green Twitter Facebook
Polly Hansen Twitter N/A
Katherine Harms Twitter Facebook
Tammy Helfrich Twitter Facebook
Jeremy Henderson Twitter Facebook
Barry Hill Twitter Facebook
Brian Hinkley Twitter Facebook
Josh Hood Twitter Facebook
AJ Jones Twitter Facebook
Michael Joshua Twitter Facebook
Heidi Kreider Twitter Facebook
Jesse Lahey Twitter Facebook
Joseph LaLonde Twitter Facebook
Rachel Lance Twitter N/A
Terry Lange Twitter Facebook
Sandy Lawson Twitter Facebook
Rebecca Livermore Twitter Facebook
Rupert Loyd Twitter Facebook
Leonard Mack Twitter Facebook
David Marshall Twitter Facebook
Nathan Martin Twitter Facebook
Jim Martin Twitter Facebook
Molly Matthews Twitter N/A
Shannon Milholland Twitter Facebook
Jeremy Myers Twitter Facebook
Ketric  Newell Twitter Facebook
Phyllis Nichols Twitter Facebook
J Loren Norris Twitter Facebook
Melissa Norris Twitter Facebook
Tim Peters Twitter N/A
Dana Pittman Twitter Facebook
Scott Place Twitter Facebook
Kara Powell Twitter Facebook
Jason Raitz Twitter Facebook
Mark Randall Twitter Facebook
Alejandro Reyes Twitter Facebook
John Richardson Twitter Facebook
Philip and Jennifer Rothschild Twitter Facebook
Marc Schelske Twitter Facebook
Tom Schulte Twitter Facebook
Shenay Shumake Twitter Facebook
Christin Slade Twitter Facebook
Lee Smith Twitter Facebook
JD  Smith Twitter Facebook
Mary Snyder Twitter Facebook
Andrew Sobel N/A Facebook
Charles Specht Twitter Facebook
Jason Stambaugh Twitter Facebook
Jeremy Statton Twitter Facebook
Cynthia Stewart Twitter Facebook
Hennie Strydom Twitter N/A
Tiffany Stuart Twitter Facebook
Melissa Taylor Twitter Facebook
Elizabeth Thompson Twitter Facebook
Kelly Thorne Gore Twitter Facebook
John Tiller Twitter Facebook
Aaron Trubic Twitter Facebook
Mick Ukleja Twitter Facebook
Andy Uskavitch Twitter Facebook
Russell Wiesner Twitter N/A
Terry Wilhite Twitter Facebook
Zac Wilkinson Twitter Facebook
Greg Williams N/A Facebook
Bob Wilson Twitter Facebook
Justin Wise Twitter Facebook
Elizabeth Ann Yoder Twitter Facebook

The 10 Biggest Issues Facing the Church Today

challengeesI just enjoyed a lunch sponsored by The Aspen Group which featured Darren Whitehead, teaching pastor at Willow Creek Church. Darren listed the top 10 issues facing the church today. He based it on a survey from Lifeway.

Here are the 10, in reverse order.

  1. Abortion
  2. Homosexuality
  3. Relevance in the church
  4. Marriage
  5. Apathy
  6. Doctrine
  7. Evangelism
  8. Leadership
  9. Discipleship
  10. Prayer

I loved Darren’s description that in the image of the cross we find the essence of our calling. The vertical line reminds us that we are to help people be reconciled to God. The horizontal reminds us that we are to help people be reconciled to each other.

What would you add to this list?

Thanks to Kristin Ruther with the Aspen Group for a delightful meal and great challenge.

Related posts: 10 Ways NOT to Grow a Church

Sticky Sermons: Neuroscience Insights that will Improve Them

preaching

I’m currently in a master’s program in neuroleadership through Middlesex University in the UK and I’m having a blast.  Christian leaders and pastors can learn much from the latest neuroscience discoveries about the brain. Neuroscientists have discovered that the brain profoundly  impacts leadership, emotional regulation, motivating others, navigating change, team building, and effective communication.

If you spend much time preaching or teaching, you’ll find this blog helpful.

Every ministry leader wants others to become more like Jesus. For that to happen, their thinking, behavior, and habits must change. Those changes don’t occur in a void. Rather, God takes what we learn about the bible, character, and God honoring behavior to transform us. A major input to this new way of living comes through our preaching and teaching.

But for lasting change to occur, our brains must imbed new information into our long-term memory instead of our short-term memory. Think of the difference between cramming for a test in geography the night before the test (we soon forget the facts) and learning a new language (if we continue to use it, the language gets imbedded deep within our memories). Neuroscientists call this embedding process consolidation. The name itself pictures the process. Although initial information comes into our minds through our five senses, it passes through a part of the brain called the hippocampus. However, if we want the new information (i.e. our sermons) to stick, the memories must be spread to other parts of the brain to consolidate them into long term memory.

So if you want to increase the chance that life transformation happens through your preaching and teaching, consider these practical steps to help imbed your teaching into long term memory thus making your sermons more “sticky.”

  1. Increase focused attention by engaging more senses than just sight and sound. Creatively use taste, smell and touch. When people pay more attention to your sermons, they engage the hippocampus more. And unless it is engaged, people won’t remember what you say.