Multitasking, we all do it and some of us do it better than others. Some would say they were born with it, some would say they learned it or had to in order to survive. Some are born with a larger capacity for it and those who have the ability usually want more. What is multitasking exactly?
Multitasking is engaging in two or more activities at the same time.
Now, when I look at that definition I think to myself, “I wish I could do more than two things at the same time!” My experience in talking with several people about the topic it seems like guys struggle with the idea and ability to multitask whereas the gals seem to almost be predisposed to it.
The question, the big question is this,
“Is multitasking healthy?”
Well, apparently, it’s not.
There is significant research that suggests multitasking is not just unhealthy but downright bad for us. I know, right? How else would we get it all done? How else would we get anything done?
When we multitask, our brain jumps around from item to item, and according to Dr. Archibald Hart, in his book Thrilled to Death he says, “multitasking is not only ineffective for learning, but many scientists are now saying it also produces significant stress.” Further research from Dr. Hart reveals that “a high level of multiprocessing and simultaneous multi-sensory inputting (multitasking) has destructive effects on the pleasure system of the brain.”
Further research suggest that multitasking also has destructive effects on relationships. Especially those closest to us. When we multitask we may get more done, we may be more productive but we are only giving a “piece” of ourself to our spouse, our kids and our friend when they need our full attention.
Did you know that multitasking was originally used as a computing term?
It wasn't until the 1990s that the term was applied to people. I don’t know which is happening faster, computers becoming more like people or people becoming more like computers...I tend to think the latter. What I do know is when a computer is doing more than it was designed for it does one of two things:
1. It freezes
2. It crashes
It's interesting to know that too much multitasking, even on computers, can lead to lockups.
What Are We To Do?
Let’s look at the opposite of multitasking. The opposite of multitasking for me is mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment with whatever or whomever is in front of us right now.
When we are fully present in the moment we are are saying “right now you are the most important person in my life.” In this moment I am giving you my full “undivided attention.” It’s eye to eye, heart to heart and mind to mind connection. It’s FACE to FACE!
3 ReMINDers In Order To Be MINDful
I hate to add an explanation to the above four words but rather let them simply soak in so the next time we are FACE to FACE to with loved one we can Focus, Be Aware, Connect and Engage them in the moment.
Isaiah 26:3 ESV says, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."
The more I learn about multitasking, the more I realize it's not necessarily something we should be doing. Being mindful means being present in the moment and doing one thing well. It means relating to others by looking them in the eye, giving them our full attention and showing them that in that moment they are the most important person in our life.
Question: How are you doing with multitasking vs mindfulness? Which one seems to be winning? What do you need to do in order to be more mindful?
For me it's slowing down. I move too fast. When I move slower my spirit calms and I find myself moving toward mindfulness.
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