Multitasking and 4-Way Stops – Pt 1

“The Streets of San Francisco”


In 1985, Carmen Hass-Klau, an expert in public transportation, introduced Americans to the concept of Verkehrsberuhigung. Translated from German, it means “traffic calming” which is basically the measures engineers and planners use for intentionally reducing or slowing motor vehicle traffic.  I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m sharing this rather long and difficult to pronounce word and what does it have to do with multitasking.


Yesterday, I was catching up with a dear friend who recently returned from a three-week visit to her daughter’s home in San Francisco.  She was saying that driving alone in an unfamiliar city had been the most challenging part of her trip.  She was forced to step outside her comfort zone.  Then she mentioned that it was made tolerable by the fact that many of the intersections had 4-way stops, affording her an opportunity to take a breath and gain her confidence back. WHAM! You know those cartoons where the light bulb goes off over the character’s head…that was me!  Verkehrsberuhigung is working on the streets of San Francisco – could it work in other areas of life as well?


I recently wrote about the downside to doing too much in a guest blog (The Problem with Multitasking) on Spin Sucks and have been developing a plan for eliminating unproductive multitasking.  My friend’s traffic comment was an “Aha” moment. In business and life, we all have hilly, steep Lombard Streets to maneuver, so does creating our own “traffic calming” moments, those times that allow us a moment to breathe and regain confidence, make a difference?  Are 4-way stops the answer to juggling?  Stay tuned…

In the meantime, what kinds of “4-way stops” are effective for you?  I may use your comments in a future post!