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The Myth of Multitasking

By April 13, 2009 Uncategorized


Man crashes commuter train while text-messaging a friend. Woman kills little girl riding her bike while talking on cell phone driving. Teen crashing car while text-messaging. These facts are rather startling and they underscore the myth of multitasking. Research is very clear that mind cannot do more than one or two things at a time and do them well, yet despite the facts (and mounting death toll) people have to find out for themselves the hard way. Technology may save us time in accomplishing tasks yet it is very deceiving in making us believe that we can do several things at once (and do them well). Not only does this lead to more hyper behavior (some people say Type A behavior), but the quality of work done never surpasses that which is done when the mind is focused on just one thing at a time. In fact, its often of lesser quality. When asked, people often say they multitask to save time (often commenting that there is never enough time to get things done anyway). Talking on your cell phone while reading emails may seem benign. Killing someone with a car is another matter entirely. Don’t create more stress in your life by complicating it with technology. Stay mindful of all that you do.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Train you mind to focus on one task at a time today (even if it drives you crazing). This is also called mindfulness! If your reading emails, just read emails. If you’re on the phone, place all of your concentration there. Stay in the moment and stay focused on one thing at a time.

• Links Worth Noting:
My good friend and photographer Elan Sunstar has collaborated with two authors in a new book project about the youth of aging. The photographs on this link are very inspiring as I am sure the book is too. Enjoy!
http://www.sunstarphoto.com/Development/youthinga.html

• Photo of the Day:
A friend (thanks Michele) posed for a photo of multitasking to be used in the Managing Stress (6E) PowerPoint series.

• Quote for the Day:
“I’m an old man now, and I have known a great many problems in my life…most of which never happened.”
—Mark Twain

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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