Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Archive for September 1st, 2009


Posted by terrepruitt on September 1, 2009

Multitasking.  So revered we have invented a word for it.  Thought so highly of it is a buzz word included on resumes.  Employers look for it.  They want someone who can do multiple tasks at once.  Sounds fabulous.

But at what cost?  What is each task not getting so that the other can receive?  How can someone possibly do more than one or two things at once?  I mean, when you think about it, our bodies are already DOING a lot of tasks, then we expect our brain to do MORE.  No, our brain does not need us to stop and think about breathing and blinking, but when you add a task to that, it is DOING more than one thing already.  So if you try to do five, it is going to be doing a lot.

Our society praises and rewards “multitasking”, but it has come to light in studies that whatever tasks are being done while other tasks are being done, the tasks suffer.  We — in America at least —- don’t concentrate on much of anything.  Stop for a second and watch.  Do you see one person in your line of sight doing one thing?  Is there someone walking while on the phone, driving while drinking, eating while talking, riding a bike while listening to a device?

I am not sitting here typing this because I am the master of living in the moment and concentrating on one thing I am doing, I have a task I do every single day—more than once a day—that I am guilty of doing while doing other things, so I am not sitting here saying it is all YOU that are guilty of this, I am just pointing out something that you have heard of lately as being not as great as we were originally led to believe.  My teeth and gums can prove it to you.  I never JUST brush my teeth.  I am usually picking out my clothes, or finding my earrings, or finding my shoes, while I am brushing my teeth so then I have to stop and say, “Did I brush my inner lowers?”  And I brush them again.

I could go on and on about this.  There are texting while driving issues, there are talking on the phone while driving issues, there are cooking while on the phone issues.  So maybe I am just saying to stop.  Just once during your day in the next few days, stop and do one thing.  Oh my!  How much will it cost you?  Five minutes?  Or less?  I know that if I stopped and concentrated on brushing my teeth and didn’t brush the same spot five times because I wasn’t paying attention it would probably cost me less.  What about you?  What has “multitasking” cost you?  How much did you really save?  Could we all benefit from doing one less thing at a time?

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