Why is multitasking important? To save time and use our energies for so many different types of tasks. That means we think time as a commodity, our life energy is measured in time segments, whereas they are energy packets to be focused on our tasks. We want to take charge of our time in multitude.
As I was having my dinner — I was also watching my favourite TV program from Netflix. My eyes, tongue, my other faculties should help me enjoy the food but my eyes, brain, my mind is somewhere else. So, though I am having 2 experiences at a time, I am not completely enjoying both, to that extent — both are incomplete, surely, they will give me incomplete results.
Also, at the back of my mind I am just thinking about my credit card dues — another incomplete thing. By doing this frequently I have forced my senses to form habits of incomplete and shallow experiences. I am envious of my carpenter who eats while he eats and works while he works. How do I form this habit and what are the other harmful effects of this system?
By doing this we are creating a mixture if incomplete karma and we get results accordingly. Have you watched animals grazing? First, they take in the grass and then ruminate it. But all the time they are not just eating it or eating it, they are “be-ing” into it. For us, eating is a grand experience instead of being into it. We garnish, decorate, make its look so exciting that we get more and more pleasure from it, we must compare it to some other similar experience and then judge it as superior or inferior.
Are we really into eating? Think of it, if you did not have the vocabulary for what you perceive, how would you experience your food? Now go to your other daily experiences — your shower, you’re reading a book, playing with your children and then think what you are missing by doing multitasking during these activities.
Remember those experiences which gave you a deeper sense of peace and contentment, most of them will be those where you did not multitask. Human being is the only animal who does so many things at a time, without getting the full satisfaction from each experience.
There is another aspect to it, your reality is built with your thinking, acting and feeling moving in the same direction and in the same sense and with just a single intention. But while multitasking I aim to achieve so many things at a time, the quantity of achievement is there, but the depth is missing. My intention is running in multiple directions. Multitasking is a myth.
How do you interpret time while doing all this? Your mind is a creature of time, time is not a clock face or the seconds ticking by- it is the energy packet which helps you to complete your action. When these energy packets work for a single purpose — it defines an intention.
But while multitasking, in which direction is this intention going? Is not clearly defined. If my thought moves at the same speed as my body or vice versa I am focused, but with multi-tasking I am not concentrating. My thinking, feeling and body motion and internal processes are not synchronized. With this synchronicity I get my focus and a complete individual experience.
Some Examples of Multitasking
Eating while writing on PC or any device, watching TV while eating, talking on phone and eating, reading and eating. Computer multitasking is the most common occurrence.
Multitasking — Image by Freepik
Reduces Focus (study published in the US National Library of Medicine).
“The myth that Multitasking is beneficial” is broken by all these researched and proven bad effects. Multitasking psychology has made me very skeptical about it. Habitually distractive employees are excited even by small insignificant stimulus — thus increasing their distractive tendencies. The temporal feeling is — look I can manage so many things at a time and achieve more in less time, but she loses the faculty to focus and thus increases stress.
It is a proven fact that the brain can effectively process only one or two concepts simultaneously. When two or more tasks are done at a time, the brain’s routine reaction is to reduce speed. What you get is less productivity in expectation of more. UCLA psychologists also found that multitasking badly affects one’s ability to learn.
Memory Impairment ( A 2009 study conducted by Stafford University).
Several research results have proven that expert multitaskers experience greater problems while concentrating on important and hard activities, memory impairment in case of learning new skills, and increased anxiety. Maybe the effect of MT is uncontrollable stress, since you are pulling your faculties in multiple directions and trying to control all.
Damages Our Brain Cells.
Switching between multiple tasks consumes oxygenated glucose inside our brain. Thus, we get tired very fast. Researchers opine chronic multitaskers eat more and consume more caffeine as compared to other focused individuals. It creates gaps in our thinking.
But what about emergencies and when we need to economize our available time, well in that case my friend you will have to do multi- tasking — this is one of its good uses. But while learning a new skill — it is disadvantageous. Also, cannot be used while playing a game or defending something.
Consider the gadgets we use — our phone contains multiple apps and we can do many tasks with it, but it forms the habit of distraction. A divided attention reduces mindfulness. Without mindfulness and focus your sense of meaning and purpose will be absent. The contentment will never be realized fully.
Multitaskers will secrete more of stress hormones and adrenaline in our system, thus creating additional issues. We get stuck in its continuous cycle. we will need more time to complete a longer list of tasks, experiencing more and more stress, and then do multitasking even more to compensate the perceived loss of time and competing for speed of completion.
So How To Get Rid Of This Multitasking Monster? Or How to Stop Multitasking.
1. We take number of small thinking breaks, break your thought patterns and try to create empty mind experience.
2. Take on realistic and manageable goals.
3. Shed of unnecessary work taken on to please or to impress others.
4. Take work breaks and have a happy space to visit in your place of work.
5. Ask those who attack your time to contact you at your convenient time.
6. Think daily of what you are losing by doing multitasking and what you gain by focusing on one task at a time.
7. Visit a quiet place where there is a water body, sit with ease and after closing your eyes listen to the water flowing and the rest of the nature sounds. Think as if this is the most necessary thing to do. Focus and try to get as intense and complete experience as possible. You can even watch the sunset or sunrise.
8. Avoid eating while watching binge shows or any other activity which distracts you from eating your food mindfully.
9. Design your day in such a way that all your activities are segregated and there is no overlapping.
Briefly you need to end all your multitasking activities and be kind to yourself to reduce stress, increase focus and be integrated with your all your life experiences. Enjoy being mindful and become healthier and more stable. Liberate yourself from distractions and being in so many worlds at a time.
Some Fun quotes on Multitasking:
I can do multitasking — Listen, ignore and forget at the same time.
Multitasking is the art of messing up so many things at a time.
Multitasking is the art of chasing so many things at a time and getting none.
“ Multitasking is the ability to screw everything up simultaneously.” Jeremy Clarkson.
To do two things at once is to do neither.” Publilius Syrus
“What looks like multitasking is really switching back and forth between multiple tasks, which reduces productivity and increases mistakes by up to 50 percent.” Susan Cain
“Juggling is an illusion. In reality, the balls are being independently caught and thrown in rapid succession. It is actually task switching.” Gary Keller
When you multitask, you believe you’re being exceptionally productive, but really, you’re fooling yourself. Each time you switch tasks, you have to backtrack a little and remind yourself where you are in the process and what’s next. Invariably. you are spending twice as much time on parts of the task.” Karen Finerman
“I do think to some extent multitasking is a way of fooling ourselves that we’re being exceptionally efficient.” James Surowiecki
Sources of Research :
Sudhir Bhatt — Author, Blogger, Editor