I read an article this week in an old edition of Real Simple that intrigued me. The author committed one month of his life against multitasking. No MULTI-TASKING you say? How on earth in days of days of blue tooth-so you can drive and talk, tabbed browsing- cause you can’t just look at one website at a time, and drive through lattes could this be a good thing.?
And I asked myself, Self, "when was the last time you did just one thing at a time?" When I’m in the shower I think about my day and the lists I can make in my head. Driving to and fro I am on my cell phone or planning things, while making breakfast I think about the dishes to wash and the shirt to iron. I don’t do just one thing well.
This is not to say I have the whole “multitasking” thing licked. By no means; in fact, my version probably looks a lot more like inattention and distraction than it does streamlined process. But it was so interesting to me that I read the whole thing beginning to end and could feel the author’s life developing meaning in quiet moments as he chose to allow conversations and thoughts to happen when they needed to. So I decided to try it this afternoon.
I shut all distractions off, sat in my comfy chair and wrote. Opened up an old school word.doc and wrote and wrote and wrote. Ignoring the grammatical highlights and spelling suggestions I let it spill out. Something I probably could have used to do a few days ago but I ever so efficiently stepped around it with my multitasking until it and I were face to face.
And honestly, I feel a bit better. It was good in a deep way to submit my attention to one thing, to give in my focus and time. I realize we do not have the ability to stop our days and the things we need to accomplish to keep life moving but I think maybe once in a while singletasking could serve us well.