Multitasking has become the bane of the new millennium. It’s a curse to keep up.
Job security, that’s for sure, since we never actually get anything completed there will always be work to do.
Maybe that’s just me?
In all fairness, “multitasking” was a thing long before it was a thing. But back then (pick a time pre-tech) people just did what needed to get done. Parents got the kids ready for school, packed lunches, prepared dinner, did laundry, ran errands, and a multitude of other tasks because that’s what you did. In the workplace, employees took meetings, made calls, wrote reports, copied, filed, socialized over the water cooler while contemplating the afternoon responsibilities. Most overlapped, hence multi.
Humans are lucky that way; we can do more than one thing at a time.
But can we do more than one thing well?
With all of the modern technological distractions, social networking and easy electronic access, I’m going to say “no.”
Again, maybe that’s just me.
Think about it… What are you doing?
Reading my blog (of course and thank you). But what else?
Are you on your computer, your tablet, your cell phone? How many pages are open?
Is the TV on? Listening to music? Eating? Are you reading as you wait for your name to be called in the coffee shop with your half caff double mocha triple soy latte?
Even our coffees are multitaskers.
When was the last time you did ONE thing?
The last time you unitasked?
To practice what I suggest, I turned off iTunes. I put the cat out (huge distraction, that one, there’s something mighty inviting about my lap as I sit at the desk). I turned off my phone and left the iPad in the other room. I’m writing this as a doc file so I’m not on the internet.
And it’s hard. Even as I type my mind is in a million different places. Well, maybe not a million, but definitely a multi. I keep thinking of things I need to do, projects I need to start… and finish, sites I need to research, Facebook I need to check. Neeeeeeed to.
Is multitasking the drug of contemporary society? Are we all addicted?
It feels good to multitask. We feel accomplished, whether we are, or more likely, not. It’s a competition with ourselves, and also others, brag worthy—guess how many things I was doing at the same time?
But don’t guess how many I completed.
I ask again, when was the last time you did ONE thing?
I dare you to do one thing and one thing only. Watch television without your iPad on your lap open to Candy Crush, level 174. Meet a friend and leave your cell phone in the car. Go for a walk with only your own thoughts to keep you company.
Do what needs to get done, with an emphasis on done.
I dare you.
But I don’t double-dog dare you because that would be contrary to my point.