One Thing At A Time

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.

  • Multitasking can cut our productivity down by as much as 40%.
  • Multitasking diminishes our ability to tune out distractions.
  • Multitasking decreases our cognitive ability.
  • Multitasking actually slows us down.
  • Multitasking makes us lose time, not gain time.
  • Negative side effects of multitasking even occur later on when one is no longer multitasking.
  • Multitasking takes away our energy.
  • Multitasking weakens our memory.
  • Multitasking can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety.

(Information on multitasking was cited in articles on verywellmind.com and psychologytoday.com.)

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

6 Comments on “One Thing At A Time

  1. I so agree with every point you make here Bridget. I went through a period when I was younger when I directly correlated being busy and thereby multitasking to get things done to my need for feeling important.
    I do think that we miss out on those moments with people when we have our attention focused on more than one thing. I have still to grow in that area. Sometimes my mind runs a mile a minute and mentally I am moving on to something else whereas the person in the front of me is trying to have a conversation with me.
    Thank you for sharing this. Reminds me to pay attention to doing one thing at a time.
    Blessings dear friend 💙.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The idea of being busy and multitasking equating to importance isn’t just you. Many people believe this to be true. But I agree that it does make us miss out on so much when we are turning in various directions. I am trying hard to be more diligent at doing one thing at a time as well. But I admit it can be difficult when we feel like we have a lot on our plates or to do lists. By God’s grace we can get there. Thank you so much for your thoughts. I always love hearing from you. Blessings to you too, Manu! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The words that immediately came after the word “regret” was “live life well” I agree multitasking is terrible. Being distracted and missing out on moments you can’t get back is terrible too. I want to live life well… been thinking about the abundant life. The first part of my abundant life post is a bit distracted sounding ironically. 😀 It’s just the first part. Hopefully the next installment will be a little more serious. It’s good to smile and laugh though, so I guess that’s part of the abundant life too. Blessings to you my sweet and wise friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Live life well” – yes I love that. Such a simple, yet profound, reminder. Jesus came to give us the abundant life. Yet too often we miss out because we are focused on the wrong things. I agree, we do need laughter as part of the abundant life. Thank you for sharing your insight! I always love to hear it! Blessings to you too, my friend! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the Martha and Mary story. I definitely want to be a Mary, but I always turn into a Martha. I can’t even go to my parent’s house without feeling like I need to be doing something!

    Liked by 1 person

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