Life is busy. I'm sure at some point in your life, you must have come across an instance, where you needed to do more than one thing at the same time. Nowadays, everything has an 'urgency' tag attched to it. And the only way to get everything done, is to do more than one task at a time. What does that mean for our society as a whole?
Due to technology, the word 'speed' has come in our lives. Fast food, microwave diner, high speed internet, cell phones, instant messaging, and driving over the speed limit, are all a part of our everyday lives. At home, managing a household, taking care of children, running errands, paying bills, and many other chores, create a never-ending busy day of a stay-at-home mom.
At work, the pressing deadlines, running late for meetings, and grabbing lunch in between the presentation and the next important call. It's no wonder we develop habits of talking on cell phones while driving, and eating while running. Does anyone stop to take a breath anymore?
The demands of everyday life, make many of us feel that we can't devote time to only one task. The downside is that, with multi-tasking a person is left with two half-finished tasks. Psychologically, a part of you might feel better knowing that you gave your attention to both things. But what you may not realize is that neither task was completed.
That may not be true in all cases. Some people have the gift of adequately attending to multiple things at the same time, and get things done that way. It also happens that the element of distraction, sometimes help us focus on completing what is in front of us. Taking care of more than one thing at a time, gives us a sense that we now have less things on our to do list.
Is it really that things are done quicker, faster or better if we multi-task? Or, is it that we are habituated to be driven to rush? Could it be that multitasking is the illusion of time saved?
I guess it depends on the person, and what they have to do. Multitasking can save time, it's true. But we have become so task-oriented, that we tend to focus only on the end result. Every once in a while we need to slow down. It is great to be productive, but being stressed to the point that you can't eat, or drive without something else in your hand, is not the way to live.
The realistic approach is to say a big 'NO' sometimes, and only take on what you can really do. If you can handle a long to do list with one task at a time, with minimal stress, that's great. If you find that, things never get truly finished, because you are always half doing them, then you should slow down, and re-evaluate the approach.
If you don't honestly benefit from multitasking, maybe you should stick to doing one thing at a time. If you think that, you will be left behind in the race by slowing down, think about how far will you reach with unfinished tasks? You would be back to square-one, redoing things! So, take a deep breath and give it a try.
What kind of multi-tasker are you? Take the poll to find out.