Two Things at a Time

Many of us try to juggle two things at the same time.

We think our productivity can surely be higher than the others when we do two things more or less successfully at the same time.

Example – I am doing email responses, while at the same time following the TV program. Or, I am thinking of life’s turns when simultaneously reading the newspaper. Or, I am talking to someone while at the same time thinking of how good it will be to experience Bali.

It is not just doing two things at the same time. It could be doing one thing while getting distracted by some devious thought, for example. It could be two thoughts plaguing your mind at the same time. May be it could be two thoughts and then you are also driving your car !

I have long been a victim of such actions – may be it is not correct to claim to be a victim. While it is not a sin, the performance of two things at a time actually leads to a loss in productivity and efficacy in execution.

Is this a new thought I am having on a Sunday evening ?


I have long been thinking about the success of single-minded devotion. Look at the Japanese or the Germans. Or the Koreans. They have all been spectacularly successful because they focus their minds on just one thing, and do it outlandishly well. Examples abound, I don’t have to rehash the same here.

One cannot claim that they are less creative than multi-tracked Indian or Chinese minds. Japanese have been most creative in whatever they set out to do. Their Shinkansen High-speed train marvel which started functioning in the mid sixties is yet to be bested anywhere in the world for its continued success and performance over nearly six decades. Look at every engineering marvel including all the cars, and even the G-Shock watch from Casio which demonstrates what it means to be creative when it came to such things as simple as the watch.

Well, I can go on and on, but I am convinced that the Japanese and the Koreans and the Germans with their single-track minds have been far more successful with their creative products and engineering feats than the others who try to do multiple things at the same time. We cannot even blame lack of time for doing that kind of stuff.

Can Indians be more successful on the world stage if they can convert their inherently chaotic creative minds to a ruthless single-minded innovative devotion which produces time-bound results ?

I guess we should think.

And, think right.


Vijay Srinivasan
28th July 2013


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