Multi-tasking seems to be a habit that has grown with the development of tech. As we all get busier and more connected, we’re trying to consume and do more and more. I know I catch myself subconsciously multi-tasking all the time; looking at my iPad while watching TV, scrolling through Instagram as I dry my hair, or “listening” to someone on the phone while I browse Pinterest. And it’s not only with tech—I constantly find myself trying to take the most out of each moment. I even clean up while brushing my teeth (which in turn takes longer since I pause on brushing to use both hands cleaning, ugh).
I’ve been feeling an internal pull to do less, and giving up multi-tasking is where I’m going to start. While doing a few things at once tricks you into thinking you’re taking advantage of your time, it also makes life more complicated. Simply putting on makeup instead of applying while touching your phone 10 times to skip through podcast advertisements seems a lot easier, right?
It’s kind of scary to think about how stimulated we keep our bodies and brains. Because of it, our attention spans are crazy short and a lot of us (me included!) have a hard time focusing on just one thing. We’ve lost the simple pleasure of watching TV without having to be entertained by Snapchat at the same time.
This Forbes article goes as far as to say that multi-tasking increases the stress hormone, cortisol, and single-tasking in fact makes us smarter. If you think about it, forcing your brain to handle many things at once IS stressful, but allowing it to instead concentrate on one thing makes it function smoother.
My goal for this month and the holidays is to slow down by single-tasking. I want to retrain my brain and be OK doing one thing. Maybe I’ll find that at certain times I prefer to multi-task, but for now, I want to give my brain a break from being so busy. Single-tasking, here I come!
Anyone else up for the challenge of un-challenging your mind?