“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves…”

We all multi-task sometimes in fact most people think it’s just a way of life today. The world certainly was a different place in Albert Einstein’s time but his take on multi-tasking can be applied today. We just don’t really do two things at one time very good although it would be hard to find anyone that would admit to it. I actually have come to the same conclusion in many of the things I do. I’m not saying I don’t multi-task but I do a lot less of it now then I used to and have found overall I have better results with the things I am doing.

I sell vintage collectible items on eBay and have really learned to just focus on listings. I used to have the TV on or listen to some of the eBay radio shows and in between even check email. So one day I decided to turn everything off take the pictures and work on my listings in complete quiet. I know it’s hard to believe that anyone would work in silence but I tried it and it worked. I could really focus on my research, my listings and putting the item where it belonged. I have been doing this since the fall and have seen an increase in listings and sales. I also have found that I am able to find the item I need, pack and ship it very quickly, instead of being distracted and putting it in the wrong place. I have spent quite a bit of time looking for items that were in the wrong place or even refunding if it couldn’t be found and that is not something any seller wants to do ever.

I have gotten used to this way of working and so I hadn’t really thought about it until my husband came downstairs and put the TV on. I wondered what he was doing and he said how can you work down here without the TV and he thought he was being nice turning it on for me. That would have been a sweet gesture if I had wanted it on and so I told him I had been working all the time now in silence and I he just looked at me like I was crazy. He loves music and never does anything with out the music on so he really didn’t understand what I was doing.

So off he went and off went the TV and it had me thinking about the quiet and my way of working. I know it won’t work for everyone but you may want to think about really focusing on the task at hand and see the difference. For myself and listing on eBay this is what I noticed but this list can be done for any task.

  1. Increased listings
  2. Increased sales due to increased listings
  3. No items lost
  4. No time lost due to hunting for lost items
  5. Less time revising items with mistakes
  6. A sense of accomplishment

The question is does multi-tasking really save you time or would you be better off giving your full attention to the task at hand? You might want to take some time and think about your answers they might surprise you.

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Categories : My thoughts


  1. John Ziemba says:

    I still multitask and enjoy it. I do listings while listening to talk radio or Pandora. I prefer Jazz or classical music which allows me to concentrate more on what I’m doing, instead of what I’m hearing.

    I understand where your hubby is coming from. My wife frequently asks the same thing. Many folks cannot function without some sort of background sound. My wife uses TV, which I find to be a big distraction. I read a lot and the only thing I’ll allow in my office when doing so is music set at low levels. Or nothing. It depends upon what I’m reading and how much concentration it requires. I used to multitask as a kid, doing homework in front of the TV. That must have affected my grades, but I didn’t care then.I do now.

    A lot of of folks have trained themselves to fill the void which is what they perceive silence to be. To me silence is really golden. When things are quiet, I can think easier and it’s easier to create better listings. I haven’t tracked this, but I suspect I’m not making as many errors when I tone down the background.

    One thing that I do in silence is writing. I prefer to write in silence or with low levels of music. But sometimes it demands silence. The way I look at it, good writing is difficult to do, and good thoughts sometimes zip in and out super fast. When it’s quiet I can capture these. As far as music, I can always turn it back on later. Thoughts don’t always come back.

    • admin says:

      I am glad to hear you have a system that works for you and really that is what counts. I love the comment about silence being golden to me it is also.

  2. eBetsy says:

    I’ve never been able to do anything else while listing, except maybe some minor offhand conversation with my hubby while he’s taking pics, and even then I’m liable to say, “What?” and he has to repeat whatever it was. And we don’t even have a TV! (and don’t miss it, either). Glad to hear you’ve found a system that works for you!

    • admin says:

      I am seeing a big improvement in listing since I am really concentrating and not getting distracted. I am glad I am not the only one it seems like your system works for you also.

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