We live in a world seeking for convenience. But the moment we can make a task more convenient and efficient, we quickly fill that time with something else; all in the name of “getting things done.” We then stack more and more responsibilities, tasks and projects, believing that multitasking is the way to go.
I remember as a kid, developing a multitasking life before Microsoft Windows personal computers ever came along and showed us how. I would sometimes sit on the couch in my living room with my books in hand to study, while I had the basketball game on and music rocking away. Understandably, my parents were not thrilled about this habit and would question this behavior, but my good grades justified that this was my ingenious method for effectiveness.
Little did I know I was slowly training my brain for the dangerous world of multitasking.
Yes it is nice to talk on the phone while you are getting dinner ready, but too many of us are multitasking everything. In fact, multitasking is invading our relationship quality.
When was the last time you had just one thing you are focusing on, being present with and engaging your full self to?
Multitasking may seem appealing, especially to those who get a kick out of being achievers and love checking off to do lists, but in the end, we suffer as a result of this lifestyle. Here’s why:
1. Multitasking trains us to only give a portion of ourselves to everything. So nothing gets all of us.
We are texting someone while being with our kids. We are reading articles or playing games while sitting at the dinner table. We have the television on while we have a conversation or while reading. We talk to the person in front of us while we think about our next meeting or another relationship. We are never fully present to be able to access, embrace and enjoy what is right in front of us: our life!
2. Our relationships become more shallow.
Because we only give a little bit to each relationship, we may have a bunch of acquaintances, yet our intimacy capacity becomes shallow. Our culture has become familiar with having a bunch of relationships that are quick and surface. We have been deceived into thinking we are relationally fulfilled; yet wonder why at the same time we are struggling with meaning, fulfillment and enjoyment.
Instead of a few close knit relationships that have quality investments, we have a bunch of social media friends who know nothing about our deep struggles and heart issues.
3. Our brain gets dumber.
Research has been showing for years that multitasking is one of the worst habits for a healthy brain, even worse than marijuana smoking! Even talking on the phone while driving can be the same as being over the legal alcohol limit when it comes to safe driving. More and more we are finding that giving into the multi-tasking world actually limits our brain’s ability to grow and flourish.
So instead of doing a few things effectively, we are now doing a bunch of things poorly. Your best bet is to do one thing at a time in everything–work, relationships and day to day chores.
4. We become very A.D.D. so therefore, we become easily distracted.
When we allow ourselves to be inundated with many things that stimulate our minds, we easily become prey to distractions. We start with one intention and then 5 distractions later, we are exahausted and feel we never got anything accomplished.
5. We become double-minded.
If we are so open to multiple thoughts at the same time, no wonder we will become prone to being swayed by every option when making decisions. Single-mindedness is a trait that helps us remain focused on who we are and what we are called to do. Double-mindedness keeps us unstable in all our ways, never planting ourselves firmly into a single thought. When we are used to having many thoughts swirling in the air, we will easily listen to doubt, fear and second guessing everything.
6. Our prayer life and worship suffers.
Last but most importantly, our relationship with God suffers, especially because God is not a God who has an “on the go” relationship with His people. He has the all powerful ability to give 100% focus to everyone who calls upon Him, yet in our distracted habits, we will struggle with sit still, remain focused and give our all to him in prayer and worship. Intimacy with God is not complicated, its actually very simple. Yet because our world is so distracted and hurried in multi-tasking, we try to process God in that same way, yet with little fruit. The only way we can truly go to the next level is to spend time giving God our full focus and attention. When we do that, we can then give people our best attention.
7. We are never fully present.
Multitasking trains your mind to move from one thing to another, without giving what is in front of you the quality attention is deserves. Relationship interactions become another thing to check off the list and activities are not enjoyable, because one is quickly thinking about the next event.
In the end, we have to be aware of how multitasking encourages a hurried life, with no time to cultivate the issues of the heart. When it comes to our heart-life, we cannot hurry it, nor can we multitask it.
Multitasking is not completely evil, we just have to be aware of how much it invades our life and relational quality.
Question: Where do you think multitasking has affected our lives? What do you suggest needs to be done to remedy this? (Use the Comment Section Below)