I’m reposting this because of technical difficulties with WordPress. If this is your first time seeing it, please disregard and continue reading. 🙂
Back when I was a young stud coming of age and looking for a job, I bragged at interviews that I was a great multi-tasker. It was the 90s, and the best jugglers of tasks were promised glory and promotions at every turn. I had solid high school level experience with multi-tasking– listening to the teacher, raising my hand for questions and comments, writing 3 paged notes to my friends, reading the book hidden on my lap, all while doodling ladybugs on every assignment.
It was a sign of my mental prowess. It was a sign I was going places. Except it was a lie. Multitasking is a lie. It’s a road that leads you to a dead end, where you stand surrounded by suitcases full of unfinished projects and unfinished thoughts.
Multitasking wants your soul and nothing less. It’s coming for you, and it’s coming for me. As I sit here typing this, my brain is so fried I’m tempted to eat it with biscuits and gravy. I never learn. Or maybe I do learn, but I’d always prefer a fried brain to a bored one. I love and hate the sweet torture of being a scatterbrain.
I have to remind myself every hour of every day that there’s something I’m supposed to be focused on, that watering the succulents can wait, editing that video can wait, doing the dishes can wait. Not only is focus difficult for me, it feels like an all-out battle. If I don’t remind myself constantly why it’s beneficial for me to focus on one task at a time, my brain will quickly, willingly, joyously go off on 50 different tangents. Everything will be dabbled with and nothing will get done.
I know there’s plenty of you out there struggling to beat your brain into submission. Everything I write for this blog is equally in service to myself as is it to you. So here are our reminders for why this week, our goal should be laser focus.
- Outside of breathing and blinking, our brains don’t do multiple things at once. What appears to be “doing multiple things” when viewed in ultra slow-motion is actually our brain shutting down one task and turning on another, then shutting down and turning on, ad nauseam. It’s exhausting and time-consuming.
- The more presence we bring to what we’re doing, the better quality we’ll get in return. Think about it. If you’re talking to a friend about her relationship and watching a YouTube video on growing citrus from seeds, something’s going to suffer. Maybe you’ll miss the part where she says divorce is imminent; maybe you’ll miss how deep you should bury those seeds in the soil. Chances are both activities are going to suffer in some way. Keep in mind that it may not be obvious or perceptible, but small things add up.
- Ain’t nobody got time for that. Research has shown that “even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.” I don’t know about you, but the hours of my days break the sound barrier. I don’t have time to be wasting that much time.
Crumbling is not an instant’s act by Emily DickinsonCrumbling is not an instant’s ActA fundamental pauseDilapidation’s processesAre organized Decays —‘Tis first a Cobweb on the SoulA Cuticle of DustA Borer in the AxisAn Elemental Rust —Ruin is formal — Devil’s workConsecutive and slow —Fail in an instant, no man didSlipping — is Crashe’s law —
Let’s face it: Part of the reason we love multitasking is that it helps us to feel like a badass important person. Another reason: we’re committed to some task we consider drudgery, and we’d rather be doing something else. I get it. I really get it. But we’re only hurting ourselves and creating more exhaustion than needs to exist.
Want additional resources? I’ve got you covered.
Latest MarieTV episode- 5 Ways to Beat Burnout and Increase Productivity– Are you woman enough to handle it?
Psychology Today- The Myth of Multitasking– includes a great exercise.
How often do you find yourself engaged in multiple things at once? Are you doing it right now?
Hey gang, it’d mean a lot to me if you follow me on Instagram. Currently on my IGTV channel, you’ll find a poetry reading, a behind-the-scenes discussion, and a comedy sketch waiting for you. So what are you waiting for? Check it out!
My name is Lyz-Stephanie and I want to inspire you to be more connected to yourself and the world, to find beauty in simple pleasures, and to have more adventures. Every day we can do something to make our lives happier and richer, make our minds more active and engaged. I’m on the journey. Will you join me?