>Is There a Problem With Multi-tasking?


Is there such a thing as just too much multi-tasking? Yesterday afternoon I found myself, washing, drying, ironing clothes, cooking dinner, entertaining my son, watching the dog, and staining my bathroom vanity, all the while rockin and boppin to my favorite reggae music! This is insane. I felt okay though; no pressure, no stress, just trying to get it all done. Although I wasn’t stressed or anything, I did honestly wonder if something was seriously wrong with me. Maybe I need to see a doctor or get tested. Maybe I’m perfectly normal and this is just what moms do. Rarely do we have down time, so typically, and when time permits, I think we try to accomplish as much as we can.

There are endless studies and reports which suggest that being “plugged in” or “turned on” all of the time is not good. So my theory is that perhaps my non-technological multi-tasking behavior is derived from my undiscovered addiction to technology. Could I be craving the same stimulation that I’m getting from frequent use (addiction) of technology? Ha! Ha! I’m really crackin myself up here. It sounds kind of logical because I won’t leave the house or worse, go to other parts of the house without my iPhone. I use my iPhone for reading the news, checking the weather, yes- face book, staying connected to family, and more. Meanwhile, the computer is on in another part of the house and is running close to a dozen applications simultaneously. Did I mention that sometimes while riding bike, I listen to Pandora radio, but I don’t think this counts as multi-tasking. And wouldn’t you know it; I do the same thing at work, take phone calls, run multiple apps, and assist students in my office.

For a little help with my self diagnoses, I did a quick online search to see what’s being said and reported about my behavior and I found some interesting reads. My first “ah-ha” moment happened after viewing GMA’s report on digital technology and it’s affect on the brain and the family. They ask the question, Do You Suffer from Technology Overload?” Perhaps I have some— not all of the classic symptoms, but I do need to be careful. If you’re like me and wonder about your behavior, you should read, The New York Times, “Attached to Technology and Paying a Price” report. They report that “scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.” I’m no scientists, but this sounds a little like me. Even as I sit here updating my blog, I realize that I’m still multi-tasking! Geez!! I have six applications open, not including iTunes, where I’m syncing hubby’s iPhone! OMG!!
Prior to the infusion of technology in my home, I don’t recall doing things exactly the way I did yesterday. I’ve always been good at juggling and multi-tasking. And I attributed those skills to my 19 ½ years of working in the gaming and hospitality industry. That’s right, blame it on somebody else- After all, who takes responsibility for their shortcomings these days. No really, I’m serious. Working in the gaming industry is fast paced. For many years, I worked in hotel operations and you have to be quick thinking and fast acting…. So just maybe, it started back in 1984 and was re-ignited a few years ago. I don’t know, I’m just thinking on paper.

There’s quite a bit of reading material on the topic of multi-tasking, most of which is associated with “technology overload,” and I could go on and on, but I won’t. Two other noteworthy sites to check out are: http://www.good.is/post/multitasking-too-much-of-ourselves/ and http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/study-finds-too-much-multi-tasking-can-harm-mental-well-being/  I am certain that there are more sites; if you know of any good ones, please share them with me. I’d like that.

Both sites further explore the effects of multi-tasking on our mental and well being, as well as, our family. So, I don’t know, if I was effective yesterday with all the juggling? But my rational for doing all the multi-tasking yesterday was simple; the weekend is coming and when it does, I want to chill! I realize that soon, the summer will be over, the warm temperatures will disappear, the pool will close and I’ll have to wait until next year. Did I get everything finished? No, I did not and it’s just going to have to wait, because on Saturday, I will be relaxing by the pool.

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