Article Summary

Article 2004050001

If you try to multi-task you will divide your focus and the quality of your thinking will diminish.


Subscribe to our Free newsletter

Buy The Book Here

See related articles on our web site:

From Values to Actions

Assigning Priorities

Building The Future





"It takes relaxation--and focus--to create and understand the balance in our lives."

-- Karl W. Palachuk



Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust


What Readers Say . . .



Relax, Focus, Succeed was written for me… well… for anyone “like” me who’s ever had more to do or fires to put out than hands to pull out your own hair with. And since we’ve all been there at some point; this book will speak to you. Karl’s book reveals an escape from the ‘powering thorough’ that we do every day to get through a multitude of life without ever really ‘living’.


Relax, Focus, Succeed takes the reader down to the core of what makes us who we are and walks us through figuring out what we really want in life, how to maintain our center and create a well-balanced, happy, successful life. Karl is motivational and inspiring.

Hannah Welch
Marysville, CA
- - - - -


I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Karl Palachuk and found myself taking notes. His philosophy is that we need to slow down, take care of ourselves, and reprioritize our lives. I am guilty of being a workaholic and never feel like I'm accomplishing as much in a day as I should. But this is the first time I have ever given myself permission to take care of myself first--not to mention to enjoy my family and friends more.


And Karl was right, the work isn't going anywhere and the world won't stop spinning if I let it sit for awhile. This book is a true inspiration! I now schedule workouts into my schedule every day--something I never considered before. But I realized that I will be more productive in the long run if I'm taking care of myself. This is GREAT STUFF!

Stephanie Chandler
Sacramento, CA
- - - - -


Karl has outdone himself in this book. I started reading this at a stop light and had to pull over and finish two chapters before halting my day and going home to finish the book. There are many practical and meaningful applications that are just helpful. I was pushing the limits of bad health and very bad overwork habits. This book has helped me tremendously. This book ranks with the quality of the E-myth.


You will pick this book up and have a hard time putting it down!

B. Vincent "Ben"
Auburn Hills, MI
- - - - -



The Myth of Multi-Tasking

by Karl W. Palachuk

One of the big buzz words of the last ten years is "Multi-Tasking." I'm sure you've heard people say they're multi-tasking. Or perhaps you've prided yourself on being a multi-tasker. I've even seen people ask for this quality in formal job descriptions.

But there is no multi-tasking. People cannot multi-task.

We get this term from the world of computers. Despite the fact that we've used this term for almost two decades, computers are just now being designed so they can do more than one task as one time. So, you see, even computers are not really multi-tasking.

A computer with one processor can only do one thing at a time. Computers have the wonderful facility of being very fast and being able to change tasks very quickly. So, when it looks like you are word processing and browsing the internet and editing a picture all at the same time, the computer is not really multi-tasking.

Computers operate by time slicing. Time slicing consists of giving a few milliseconds to one task, then a few to the next, then a few to the next. Because computers can change tasks so quickly, they appear to be doing two things at once. But in reality there is no multi-tasking.

You cannot multi-task either.

Sometimes we are engaged in several actions as the same time, but we cannot actually do them all at the same time. And, as humans are slow to change from one task to another, it is clearly visible that we have to stop doing one thing and start doing another.

No matter how quickly you switch tasks, you can never give your attention to two activities at the same time. You can time-slice. But your time slicing has limited effectiveness.

The most important point for you to remember when you try to time-slice is that it reduces your overall effectiveness. We fool ourselves into believing that we are being more productive (or that other people are more productive) when we multi-task. In reality, you have split your attention between several tasks and therefore reduced your ability to focus on each task.

The more you focus on the task at hand, the more effective you will be. If you cloud your mind by trying to think about two or three things simultaneously, you will be less effective at each of them.

When writing a letter, for example, you should focus all of your attention on the letter. You will write faster, write more clearly, address the topic more effectively, and be done sooner than if you force your mind to switch back and forth between the letter and something else.

Sometimes we engage in a task but find it difficult. Writing is a good example. When the words don't come, we engage in something else. This is obviously the wrong thing to do. The words won't come until you give them your attention and focus on the writing. When you engage in something else, you make the writing less focused and less effective. The same is true for every other activity.

There are some activities that are particularly well suited for time slicing. Other activities can be organized around effective time slicing. Cooking is a great example of time slicing. You might put a roast in the oven and then, while it cooks, start preparing the vegetables. People who are very well organized and good at changing their focus can become great cooks and prepare seven courses with perfect timing.

I can barbeque hot dogs.

You can become efficient at time slicing. But never divide your focus.

You can become efficient at time slicing. But never divide your focus.

You must develop the habit of discerning your most important task and focusing on that task until it is complete (or at a logical stopping point such as completing a draft that needs review). Then decide on your next most important task and focus all of your attention on that task until it is complete.

We have gone so far down the road of believing in multi-tasking that most of us have never developed the habit of focusing our attention on one thing at a time. Your job may require you to time-slice, but you must think of it in those terms. Do not fool yourself into believing that you can do two things at once. The best you can do is to perform a poor job on two or three projects.

If you try to multi-task you will divide your focus and the quality of your thinking will diminish.

Begin today. Develop the habit of focusing all your attention on one thing at a time. You'll be amazed at how efficient you will become.

When you're excellent at focusing on one thing at a time, then you can begin training yourself to time-slice effectively--that is, switching from one task to another. But once you switch, you must give all of your focus to the new task. If you try to think about two things at once or do two things at once, you will do neither of them well.

So-called Multi-Tasking is the root of many errors, poor workmanship, and stress. Do not ask yourself to do two things at once. And don't ask others to do it either.



"The Secret of Success is

Consistency of Purpose."

-- Benjamin Disraeli


### RFS ###

See Related Articles


Of Interest



This is one of the best books I have ever read, I have many on business motivation as well as many for your personal life and these seem to contradict each other. Karl shows you how to create the necessary balance in your life. I did not realize how much unnecessary stress I was causing myself until Karl pointed it out, this made an immediate impact in my life in all three areas Personal, Family and Business. I highly recommend this book especially for anyone trying to run their own business.

Bret Meche

Opelousas, LA
- - - - -


The most important thing Karl's book did for me was to remind me of how important it is to relax in order to be successful. Too often we get so busy that we forget to take time to relax in order to focus our minds and thereby succeed. Karl's exercises throughout the book are very practical.

Sue Lynn Canfield
Roseville, CA
- - - - -


I love the way Karl's book makes powerful and grounded statements. He is motivational, informative and hits the nail on the head. I recommend his book highly and I recommend it to my clients who are working toward more balance and relaxation in their lives.

Jenifer Novak Landers

Folsom, CA
- - - - -


I will be rereading this book constantly until I get every habit fully ingrained in my head. I am off to buy a notebook for my "quite time".

Thank you Karl!

Brielle Beard
- - - - -

I have read, and re-read this book from cover to cover. Its a fantastic book.
This book shows you how to do as the title says Relax, Focus and Succeed.


Brilliant book . . . highly recommended.

Chris Timm
- - - - -