If I have several types of food on my plate, I would only eat one thing at a time. So, if I have chicken, mash potatoes, and mac and cheese on my plate, I would usually start with the chicken first. Then I'll head to the mash potatoes, then hit the mac and cheese.
As the grand finale, I would wash everything down with my drink. I don't even touch my drink until all of my food is gone. No, I don't even sip on my drink while there's food on my plate.
Again, I have no idea why I eat like this. But I can tell you this: I rarely ever waste food, and if I waste anything, it would be the drink because I might be too full to finish it -- but that rarely happens.
Now, let's go to my son (who takes after my wife). He eats and sips, eats and sips, eats and sips. My son was really bad at this, because he would take ONE bite of food and immediately sip his drink. Then he would take another bite, or maybe two bites, and sip again. It got on my nerves! And because he was doing this, he would frequently waste food...mostly because he would drink all his water or juice before he finished his meal, and would be too full to finish his meal.
Now you have my daughter (who takes after me), who eats everything first and then drinks. She rarely wastes food.
Is there a pattern here? Why is it that I could not waste any food with my structured eating pattern while my son (and his mama!) would waste food with his unstructured eating pattern?
Well, the biggest reason is because I want to make sure I finish each food. If I have hamburger, fries, and water, I want to be sure that I finish all of them. If I take a bite of the hamburger, a bite of the fries, and a sip of water and keep going back and forth with this pattern, I might get too full and not finish any of them. If I focus on one item at a time, then if I do get full, I would only have wasted just one item instead of three items.
If you've worked in food service, you'd know the frustration of picking up plates that are FULL of wasted food. I've worked in food service back in college, and man, it's unbelievable at what people do with their food.
God bless America: the land of plentiful food, most of which is being wasted....
If you're the type who sips and eats, you really have no priorities on your food. You just eat whatever you feel like while you're drinking, and in this way, you'll have waste.
Starting on different projects in your life is very much like eating a meal. You have several meals to choose from, plus a drink. With your projects, you could tackle them one of two ways: by hitting one project at a time or by hitting all the projects at the same time.
Now, I don't think I have to stress which of those methods is better. I believe most of us could agree that tackling one thing at a time is much more effective than trying to tackle everything at the same time.
My wife and I have agreed that one of our weaknesses in running a business is that we have so many options and we want to do them all at the same time -- but we also don't finish most of what we've started.
Some of you are great starters, but horrible finishers. The starting part is exciting, just like getting your meal. But once you get going, you get distracted with other projects that you'd like to start -- just like when you're eating one thing, you want to eat something else before you finish the other food. If this keeps up, you would have found yourself starting everything and finishing nothing -- just like with food.
When you waste food, you probably seen that you've eaten some of everything, right? Maybe you might have finished ONE thing, most likely your drink. But everything else lies around half-eaten. Now, you're too full to finish your plate.
In the same way, when you start everything, you MAY finish one or two things, but then you'd be so burnt out that you don't want to complete your other projects. Now you have unfinished projects that lie in waste.
In order to avoid starting everything and getting nowhere, you ought to tackle one project at a time and get that project to a place where you want it to be. Then you could tackle the next project.
Now, there's a psychological thing that happens to me when I work on one food at a time. I see all the other delicious foods that I want to tackle and I want to get to them as soon as possible. So, I don't waste time eating one thing. I want to finish it so I could get to the next thing.
In the same way, if you have several things that you want to do, you won't want to waste time on one project. You would want to finish it quickly so you could get to the next thing.
But when you tackle EVERYTHING at ONCE, there are no other projects to look forward to, and eventually you'll just get burnt out. You're going to start saying to yourself that this project isn't working, that project isn't working, the other project is a flop, etc., etc. And the reason those projects aren't working is because you're not devoting enough time on them. You're too busy doing everything at once, and when you do everything at once, you don't spend much time on any one thing.
Why is it that kids have such a hard time learning in a traditional school setting while kids in smaller, less traditional school settings are excelling? You have a class with 30 kids, and all of them learn differently. How could a teacher address everybody's learning preference all at once? You will have kids who excel, kids who do "all right," and kids who just fail because the teacher cannot focus on any one kid at a time.
Trust me, I've been there on both ends of the spectrum: as a public school student and as a public school teacher.
In the same way, if you have several projects to do, some may excel, others may do "all right," and others may flat-out fail. But more realistically, maybe ONE of those projects would excel, others may yield SLIGHT results, and the rest would just fail.
So, instead of setting yourself up for failure by tackling all your projects at once, set yourself up for success by tackling one thing at a time.
Multitasking, in my opinion, is a bit overrated. When your attention is divided among several things, then the amount of time you devote to those things would be divided.
One time when I was at a wellness club, I noticed that the club would be ran by just ONE person at a time. This one person would be making smoothies, doing a wellness consultation, and maybe answer the phone at the same time. I thought that was a horrible way of doing business! The client you're sitting down with has to compete for your attention.
How many of you like being put on hold several times when you're on the phone with customer service? Yeah, I didn't think so....
Treat your projects as your clients. They ALL deserve your full attention. When you're done with one client, move on to the next. Don't try to see five clients at once.
Look at the unfinished projects that you have. Now pick which of those you want to tackle first. Once you pick that project, resolve to do nothing else until you finish it.