Multi-tasking or flow?
Can you do one thing at a time?
We’ve all seen the studies that claim multi-tasking isn’t efficient. Some studies say multi-tasking is up to 40% less productive. The main reason is that we aren’t doing two things at once. Instead you are switching attention back and forth. Each time you switch attention you lose time re-settling into the other task.
But, from my time class I have found most of you don’t believe it. The majority of the people in my classes believe you have to do multiple things at once to get everything done. I can see society is doing as much if not more multi-tasking than it used to.
People don’t just eat – they have to be driving or interacting with media. Too often you can tell the caller on the other end is doing something else and you don’t have their undivided attention as you talk on the phone. Interaction with work, with other people, even leisure time is done in short spurts.
One thing that saddens me which is lost is flow. I love the feeling of writing as the words come and I am connected with my work. Or listening to a song so intently it goes to my soul. Or being enthralled with a bird on a walk.
You lose that deep connection, that immersion, that flow when you check your email every time it beeps. Or watch a movie while you are playing an internet game or stop every few minutes during a work project to check Facebook.
Even if you don’t believe multi-tasking is inefficient, why don’t you experiment today with immersing yourself in one thing? Even if you multi-task everything else, see how doing this one thing feels.
I’d love to hear your experience in the comments.