The huge lie that every multi-tasker tells herself

Written by Angela Atkinson

“Multi-tasking arises out of distraction itself.” ~Marilyn vos Savant

The multitasking mythI like to pretend that I’m a really good multi-tasker, but the truth is that when I claim to be multi-tasking, it’s really more like I get distracted and mentally wander off to a different task. 

According to what we’re told, though, multitasking means that a person is doing more than one task at a time.

It’s part of what we deal with as members of this modern society that depends so heavily on devices and gadgets.

Because so many people are incredibly busy, multitasking has become a way of life. On any given day at the same time, you’ll see people who are simultaneously walking, updating their Facebook, texting and talking to people.

Because all of these tasks are going on at the same time, the brain is forced to react quickly, moving back and forth, constantly changing focus. Studies have shown that not only do those who multitask not get more accomplished, but they’re more apt to face burnout, higher levels of stress and a poorer quality of life.

So, you don’t get more done, and you don’t feel less stressed? Seems like a theme. Let’s move on. 

Your brain was not meant to deal with an overload of material in so little time. When you multitask, just like you’re splitting your attention between things on your to-do list, you’re also splitting yourself figuratively.

You might be checking things off that list but no one thing has your full focus and neither do those you love. When you’re in a relationship and your partner is speaking and you’re on your cell phone sending a text message, you’re not really listening to them.

Multitasking has helped to cause people to feel less empathetic toward others because people don’t really hear and aren’t really aware of the full scope of the situations they’re seeing or hearing about.

There’s another downside to multitasking. When you’re not fully present with what you’re doing or who you’re spending time with, you miss things. You’ll discover that you have a tendency to spend a lot of time and energy on things that don’t really matter.

Multitasking keeps you perpetually distracted. The cure for multitasking is mindfulness. This means that you’re focused on the present. You’re giving whatever task you’re doing 100% of yourself.

It means that whoever you’re interacting with is not having to compete for your attention because you’re 100% present with them. Being fully present can help to deepen relationships with those you love.

It can also make you better at your job, more understanding of your coworkers and happier in all aspects of your life. When you’re being mindful, you’re focused. You’ve got your mind and your emotions fully engaged.

By being focused, you’re aware of the task. Getting it done will be easier and you won’t be nearly as stressed. When you focus on a person, you’ll be able to have a deeper connection without multitasking.

You’ll be fully engaged in your own life and in the lives of the people you interact with. Mindfulness can teach you how to keep your focus on the moment. It can show you how to enjoy the day to day tasks and situations even if they’re mundane.

Plus when you practice being intentionally focused on what you want, it’ll help you to recognize when you’re not. You’ll gain the intuition to know when something doesn’t really have your full attention.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments, below. Let’s discuss it.

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