Is Multitasking Your Way of Life?

Is multitasking your way of life?

Theory has it that women are THE prime multitaskers. As a young mother, I could prepare dinner, converse with one child, help another with homework, and hem a skirt without missing a beat.

Today…not so much. 

Lately, I’ve realized that when I watch a Netflix movie, I watch the movie. I do not color. I do not write my blog. I do not knit or sew. Sometimes I do my nails or open the mail. Usually, I cuddle with Shiloh and watch the movie.

While writing or creating a digital painting, the house is silent. I turn the ringer down on my phone. All computer notifications are off so that I do not get a ding when an email or news bulletin comes in. I especially, do not want pop-ups when FaceBook conversations are in progress. 

I certainly do not try to cook while working at the computer. I have overcooked and burned too many meals.

Since all of my work involves the computer, I have to work to NOT get sidetracked, especially when doing research. But that is very different from multitasking.

This has NOT been my modus operandi for most of my adult life. It has crept in gradually during the six + years that I have lived alone. Even Shiloh seems to realize my limitations. A nudge of the left arm generally indicates that I have been preoccupied too long to suit her.

Has this all come about as a result of living alone, getting older or is there another reason that I rarely multitask?

This week I attended a delightful evening at a local restaurant with a hypnotist entertaining us. I have worked with this woman in the past. She helped me overcome some pain and lethargy after my knee surgeries.

It was really intriguing to discover how powerful our mind can be in some small physical tasks like locking our hands together and not being able to separate them or visualizing a vice pressing our fingers together. I was asked to participate in a more in depth demonstration of being put to sleep. In all of the hubbub of a busy restaurant, I was a perfect subject.

That is when it occurred to me that during the past six years, I have also become very serious about meditation and mindfulness. I have come to value being in the moment. It has been a necessary process in healing from major surgeries and learning to cope with stress. One does not multitask-away pain, be it physical or emotional. 

The pace of my life has slowed considerably in recent years. I am in a continuous practice to appreciate living in the moment. I find that I am more productive when I tackle a single task. I make fewer mistakes. I enjoy my work much more. And I feel better able to handle daily stress.

I do admire those who continue to multitask on all levels of their lives. But I am no longer a member of that society.

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