We have a million tasks we need to cram into our twenty-four hours. Many people have complained – if only I had more time! I have said this myself on many occasions. So what’s the solution? Multitasking of course. What is multitasking? Multitasking is defined as dealing with more than one thing at a time. In today’s fast-paced world, we pride ourselves on multitasking.
If you are one of those who pride themselves on multitasking, I am here to burst your bubble. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It turns out that our brains really aren’t doing two things at once. Instead our brains are just quickly shifting from one thing to another. One of my techie friends recently told me that computers don’t even do more than one thing at a time. Computers just do things amazingly fast. So if a computer cannot multitask, why do we think we can? What’s more is that research has found negative side effects associated with multitasking.
I feel that sometimes multitasking is okay, if one task does not require brain power. For example, if you are folding laundry while watching television or if you are listening to music while working. Our brains don’t need to focus on the laundry or the music. But I do feel strongly about cutting back on multitasking in general, especially when the things we are doing requires our attention. We all know how dangerous it is to text when driving, for example.
Why do I feel so strongly about cutting out multitasking? Well all the side effects above are a good start. Personally when I try to do too many things, I feel frustrated and fruitless. But there is more. This is similar to my recent post on eliminating distractions. I don’t want to miss the life that is right in front of me. I don’t want to miss out on things God might be trying to reveal to me. I don’t want to miss out on precious moments with my loved ones.
Perhaps you are familiar with the story of the sisters, Martha and Mary, found in Luke 10:38-42. On this particular occasion, Jesus was at their home. Martha was running around tending to preparations while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet. Martha complained about her sister not helping. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (v 41-42). How sad that Martha missed out on time with the Savior because she was distracted! It even says in verse 40 that “Martha was distracted.” When we have a gathering at our homes, we want to make sure everything is perfect. I have been there and I am sure many of you have too. While it is admirable to put our best hospitality foot forward, we should not allow it to take away from the fellowship.
This is just one example. There are many other times when we are multitasking and miss out on things. We might be intent on listening to our favorite sitcom, but miss something the person right in front of us said. Or maybe we are on the telephone with someone, but we allow our mind to start worrying about a project at work. I am sure you can think up some examples as well. Let me put it to you another way. We don’t like when someone is ignoring us because they are focused on something else. So let’s set a good example and not do the same.
Life is made up of small moments. These moments can hold so much meaning, if we are present. And these meaningful moments can turn into deep conversations, and lasting memories. I want to be able to look back on these moments with joy, not with regret. How about you?
© 2020 Bridget A. Thomas