Have you ever noticed that when you talk on the phone while driving and are done with the conversation, you get a sense that you don't even recall where you were driving while on the phone? It's almost like a blackout while being awake. This is because the brain cannot focus on two simultaneous tasks with completely positive results.
Muti tasking is something that many people do every day. And women even more than men because we are better at it. No offense to the men; it's just how our brains work. I know most of us cannot imagine how we would do all of the things we have to in a day without multi tasking. I am guilty of doing it many times during the day. But I have recently become more conscious of times when I am trying to do too many things at the same time and I have decided to try and put a stop to it.
Why? Well, it's part of my mission to slow down my life a bit. Why do I have to cram so much into a day? I don't. And I'm sure I can get everything done that I need to in a day without so much multi tasking. Besides, slowing down reduces stress and makes life feel more calm and balanced. And doesn't that sound good to you? Instead of rushed, frazzled, stressed--it's definitely the better choice.
Now I'm not talking about sitting down and waiting for your load of laundry to finish. There are obvious tasks in life that we can accomplish without sitting there and doing nothing else. I'm talking about simple things. Like when you drive, just drive. Try to cut back on the amount of time you are spending on the phone while in the car. I actually enjoy ignoring the phone while driving. The reason why is because I think it is more important than ever to pay attention when we drive. It's just too risky with the number of people on the road these days to not give it our full attention. And also because when I talk to someone on the phone, I feel they deserve my full attention. How can I conduct business or listen to a friend's problem and feel good about giving them my all when half of my attention is on the road?
This is an important reason why we need to cut back on multi tasking--full attention. If we give our full attention to tasks that we are doing, not only will we get them done just as quickly as if we are trying to piggyback another task in between but also that we will do a better job in general. Also, it keeps us in the moment if we give our full attention to the task at hand.
I believe that over multi tasking ends up in a similar result as someone who has ADD. Because our mind is here and there and we are jumping from one thing to another. They are definitely similar.
Just take time during the day to notice when you are multi tasking and how it makes you feel. I am sure there are a lot of you who thrive on the feeling of doing it and enjoy that low level of stress it causes. But it can also cause bigger stresses and interfere with a more balanced life. Whenever I catch myself trying to do too much at once, I force myself to slow down. One thing at a time, I remind myself. Because each thing I do deserves my full attention and my best ability in order for me to be the best person I can be. Give it a try and see how it feels to slow down. You might just find that you like it!