Desi Aragon

Modern Day Muse

Multitasking Is A Fast Track To Chronic Stress And More Bad News


I remember back when computers were just becoming mainstream. It was a time when everyone thought computers were going to liberate us human beings and we would have more time to do the things we love to do. But, au contraire, the computer has actually been responsible for making us work harder and longer hours. We now do more and do it faster. It’s as if we are attempting to move at the speed of light.

I think the computer gave rise to multitasking.

We answer e-mails while talking on the phone. We schedule appointments while driving and listening to the radio. And it seems as if we’re focusing on all these tasks simultaneously, as if we’ve become true masters of doing 10 things at once. But that simply isn’t true.

It’s been proven that when working on several tasks as once, such as talking on the phone, checking email and writing a report, you can lose the focus required to adequately complete one item. Too many distractions break your concentration. That then requires more time when you come back to one task, find where you left off, and try to recreate your thought pattern.

It Seemed To Work For Awhile

Have you ever felt the desperate need to step back, put down the smart phone, take a deep breath and really consider what’s most important? You’re not alone. It once seemed as if multitasking was an advantage, especially in the business world. But all that multitasking has finally caught up with us. It has been found that constantly performing several tasks at once can lead to a significant drop in productivity.

Memory Impairment And Over-Stimulation Of Brain Function

Multitasking can also lead to over-stimulation of your brain function. If you are working on a project or assignment and you are constantly interrupted by coworkers, phone calls, or customers, you risk forgetting details required to comprehensively finish the task, according to a 2009 study by the late Clifford Nass, Ph.D., and others at Stanford University. The study also shows that participants who multitask the most are distracted by unimportant information that is stored in their short-term memory.

When you have excessive stimulation bombarding you on a daily basis, you simply find it more and more difficult to recover. This tiredness permeates not only the brain, but the entire body. By having too much information inundate you at the same time, your brain cannot differentiate between what is important and what isn’t, negatively affecting your memory.

Step Off The Fast Track, Slow Down And Reset Priorities

With the effects of multitasking and moving too fast becoming more and more apparent and less and less appealing, you may wonder how to live differently and feel fulfilled. Honestly, the only way is to recognize there really is no fast track, because there’s really no destination. So step aside. Slow down, focus on one thing at a time. Take time to reconsider your priorities. Ask yourself if you are living your most authentic life. If you feel the need for help gaining a new perspective and would like a safe place to learn how to slow down, I invite you to explore one of my retreats or contact my hotline.

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