Multitasking is nothing to be proud of
We’re busy busy busy, trying to do 101 things. We’re so busy we try and do things simultaneously, so that we can tick more things off our ‘to-do’ list, which seems never ending.
What if we stopped being so busy?
What if we focused on what was important?
What if we tried to do one thing at one time?
Wouldn’t life feel calmer? Wouldn’t we be happier? Wouldn’t we be living in the here and now?
So confession time, I’m a serial multitasker. I’m quite good at it. In fact, I’m proud of the fact that I can multitask. I love ticking things off my ‘to-do’ list and being able to do tasks simultaneously, or that’s what I thought.
The thing is, multitasking is not as good as we think it is. Trying to multitask is stressful, puts us under unnecessary pressure and stops us from being present.
If we just learnt to do one thing at one time we’d get a lot more done, we’d be calmer and less stressed.
The thing is, as women, we’re known to have the amazing ability to multitask. The ability to juggle lots of balls at once. It sounds like an amazing skill to have. After all, we get lots done. But, is it really that good and at what cost?
The truth is, just because we can doesn’t mean we should. Multitasking has its benefits but it’s not as great as we think it is.
The interesting thing to consider is why do we do it? We see a job and think it has to be done and as nobody else will do it we decide we must take it on! But is this true? Is this the reality we want for ourselves?
We get stressed because we are trying to juggle too much. We make mistakes because we’re doing too much. It takes us longer because we’re doing too much.
Just consider how life would be better if we did one thing at one time.
Think about how stressed you get when you’re trying to do lots of things all at once. For me, it was usually trying to cook, whilst getting school uniform ready for the next day and answering an important phone call!
However, I’ve found that I feel calmer if I just pay attention to just one thing at one time. After all, spinning just one plate is less stressful than spinning 3.
In reality, we cannot actually focus on more than one thing so why do we try? Just think about it. When you try to do more than one thing at a time are you really paying full attention to all of them. Or are you trying to divide your attention, which is impossible!
I realise I have limitations and the ability to focus, properly, on more than one thing at a time is not possible. So I’m practicing focusing on just one thing at a time and I can honestly say life is a lot easier.
It’s true, we’re actually more productive by doing one thing at one time instead of trying to do many all at once! Try it and see what happens. Because I’m giving my undivided attention to just one activity I get it done in a shorter amount of time which means I can move onto the next more quickly.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m trying to do too much at once I definitely tend to make more mistakes. And this goes back to trying to divide my attention. It’s not possible. So ultimately, I make mistakes. They may be small but sometimes it also means have to redo stuff which means not only has it ultimately taken me longer but the first time was a waste of my precious effort.
By trying to do a lot at once, we risk not completing what we started. This is because we’re interrupting ourselves or distracting ourselves with other tasks. So we have to reset ourselves constantly when moving from task to task. There have been times when I’ve actually had to start again because I’ve forgotten where I stopped and it’s easier just to start again. Another waste of time and effort.
So you see, although being able to multitask is an impressive skill to have, it comes at a price and it is up to you whether you continue to pay that price or decide to focus on one thing at one time.
Will you stop multitasking?
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