Have you ever gone into a room to grab something only to get sidetracked with another task? As you leave the room, you feel like you accomplished something, but cannot even remember what you came in the room for? (or am I the only one?) I do this all the time and it drives me crazy!
There are certain things in my life I want to do well. Walking in His Truth and being a minister of Jesus Christ through my roles as a godly wife, mother, teacher, and keeper of my home are the things that are of utmost importance to me. The problem is every distraction is thrown my way to take my focus off what is certainly the most important matters in my life. When I look at these areas of my life I see my downfall……it’s multitasking. I never take the time to focus and concentrate on these things. I now look back and feel as if I have missed so much of the important things because while those things were going on, I was busy doing other tasks.
When I was younger I was the master at multitasking! (Multitasking is doing multiple tasks or activities simultaneously.) I look back now and ask myself, “What has happened to me?” I cannot multitask like I used to and many times I am frustrated and frazzled because my brain won’t keep up. What I am realizing is that I might have truly been a master at multitasking, but I was never a master at any one thing. Now that I am older and not necessarily wiser, I am seeing the downfall of my multitasking.
Multitasking has created a “hurried-ness” in my days and too many unfinished projects or activities. I am finding that now, after doing this for so long, I cannot focus on any ONE thing at a time. It has created a downhill spiral and a brain fog that becomes thicker with each crazy day of multitasking. At the end of each day, I am totally spent and look at my day and see no real progress just fragments of undone or poorly done tasks which just feeds the cycle.
We have been told that we (as women) are good at multitasking and that our brains are wired for multitasking. I disagree. Multitasking has distracted me from the things that I need and want to be efficient at. Now, even science is showing us that multitasking is a myth and actually damaging our. Our brains are not wired to do things simultaneous. As a matter of fact, we really are not doing things at the same time. Our brains are jumping from task to task very rapidly. The brain is not focused. Instead of creating efficiency, our brains are now hurried, flighty, and lack concentration. We are unable to have deep, focused attention to anything in our lives.
It is interesting to me that everything around us is feeding our multitasking frenzy. Have you watched television lately? Every thing flashes from scene to scene so quickly it is impossible to focus. You used to be able to watch a movie trailer and figure out what the movie was about. Now they play a series of scenes with no continuity and a lot of flashing back and forth to merely to catch your attention. We walk away not having any clue really what the movie is about. Social media is bombarding us with a constant stream of bite size information that results in a quick mindless perusing addiction. Even as I am writing this post, I have had to stop and check my Facebook. Really?!!
I believe, we are seeing the results of this in our children. We have an astronomically high rate of ADD and ADHD. With our children spending hours with they faces planted in an electronic device, this only makes sense. We are training our children’s brains at a very early age to bounce back and forth from scene to scene whether by television or video game. By the time they are school age they cannot sit still and pay attention for more than 1o to 15 minutes.
Ironically, the more I evaluate the different areas of my life, I see how multitasking has been my demise. Here are some areas that I struggle the most with:
- Time Management
- Self Discipline/motivation
- Establishing and keeping routines
- Homeschooling schedules
If I look at each of these areas honestly, I will see the break down is lack of focused attention. It’s a cycle of distractions throughout my day that cause me to be inefficient. Multitasking is the root of disorganization or the need for more organization. Think about how much time would be saved if we simply focused on a task until it was completed before we move on to something else. The struggle in these areas are merely an indication of a greater problem. I thought the problem was my motivation and my self discipline, but every night my head would hit the pillow and I would be completely exhausted from being busy all day. Do you ever feel like that no matter how hard you work things are never accomplished? I am kinda tired of that feeling, but as I reflect on my days I see my downfall. Multitasking has been my demise. It has turned out to be quite a menace and wreaking havoc in all areas of my life.
So, the real question is HOW? How do we break this cycle of multitasking? Even yesterday when I tried to focus my attention on one thing it was extremely difficult. I believe we need to retrain our brains. Not exactly sure how to do this, but I will be finding out! I am currently re-reading a book called Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. I find it very fascinating. I am going to be trying out the 21-Day Brain Detox as soon as I get a handle on the logistics. Here is a link to the book if you want to check it out. Maybe we can get a Brain Detox Group going! 🙂
What are your thoughts on multitasking? Do you rely on multitasking to get through your day? Have you seen any positives and/ or negatives with multitasking in your life and daily routines? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
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