Friday, August 8, 2008

The Differing Faces of Multi-tasking

I pride myself on being good at multi-tasking, as I am sure many mothers do. It seems as if you need to be able to multi-task to survive in today's world. I remember a conversation I had with my husband awhile ago about multi-tasking. He didn't see how solving an algebra problem while cooking dinner and sweeping the floor was multi-tasking. For some reason he was under the impression that you had to be doing very different tasks - like digging a hole in your backyard while at the same time painting your bedroom.

Don't worry, I set him straight on the fine art of being able to do many things at once. Now he realizes that he can multi-task, too (although not as well as a mother can!!)

Nonetheless, I suddenly began to realize that multi-tasking might not be such a good thing. I started to think about this when I was considering getting a kitchen phone with a cord so that I could eliminate my cordless phones and thus reduce the amount of harmful electro-magnetic radiation flying around my house (no really, I'm serious about that:) However, I didn't realize how hard it is to find a decent corded phone; with an answering machine! Anyhow, it got me thinking about having to be stuck within 5 feet of my kitchen wall while talking on the phone and I realized that maybe that might be the better thing. Really, shouldn't I be giving the person I am talking to the courtesy of my undivided attention instead of talking on the phone and answering an email, changing a diaper and switching over a load of clothes all at the same time?

It kind of all relates to being able to live in the present moment, which in reality, is the only moment we have. If I am truly going to live in this moment, shouldn't I be giving it the attention it deserves instead of trying to cram as much into that moment as I possibly can? Take some time today to see just how often you multi-task and just how often you are splitting your attention amongst many different things. I think you will be surprised at what you find. Then think about whether you are truly living in the present moment (or as Simonetta sings, the "sacrament of the moment" which makes it seem much more holy to think about it that way) by constantly dividing your attention. I know it is hard for a mom to force herself to do or think of only one thing at a time, but I think it might make our lives richer if we do.

God Bless!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laura! I have a corded phone in my kitchen and I'm always tempted to go back to using it full time. I often think I tend to talk longer on the phone because I can do other things at the same time - not always the best idea. Perhaps we were all more aware of other people's time when everyone had a corded phone....Anyway, a good friend of mine, mother of a large family, doesn't have an answer machine, no caller id, no call waiting, no voice mail.....God bless! Dolores H