All through school, college and even while writing my resume I remember how ‘Multitasking’ was such a great word. “All successful managers should be able to multitask efficiently”, my professor said. ‘A competent multitasker’ my resume reported. ‘How to be successful at multitasking’, screamed the title of at least a dozen management/self-help books.
But today, after years of buying into the concept that multitasking is a positive skill, I am now wondering whether it is all that great after all. What got me thinking? This video:
Oh my god the tabs part is totally me. At any given time I have more than two tabs open. I can’t even watch a whole video without interrupting it to check out something on another page. I have caught myself and both my roommates often sitting in front of the television, with the laptop open, while we were checking updates on the phone. I am sure you’ve caught yourself in such situations too.
The world is encouraging multitasking. Our phones are built to do too many things at once. We can’t drive anywhere without the radio on. Eating dinner is now accompanied by the prime time news. Newspaper is a ritual with breakfast. Shall we even discuss how satisfying reading books on the commode it? Well, you get the picture.
And this is not necessarily a bad thing – we get so much more done by living this way. But while we’ve been busy giving each of our senses something to do, I think we are missing out on the experience of all our senses coming together to concentrating on the same thing at once. We are missing out on living in the moment.
I realized that multitasking is so ingrained in my lifestyle that I can’t even think of taking up the Tabless Thursday challenge. However, I do promise to try and soak in more of the present (instead of checking my phone every five seconds!)
Think about it,
The reluctant writer.