The Myth of MultiTasking

Multitasking.  Seems to be the norm of the day today doesn’t it?  I hear all the time of people talking about what a great multitasker they are.  Have heard it in job interviews or when in settings such as classes where someone is sharing their strengths and weaknesses.  Many will say, “I am a great multitasker.”  I touched on this some last week, but feel it’s very important to hammer home the point.  Many of you will panic when your read this, but it true. Multitasking is a myth.  The problem we have today is that we have so much going on, so many distractions that we feel we have to always tackle multiple things at once.  When we are in conversations or meetings, how often do we look at our phone for something or jump on our laptop?  I’m definitely guilty of this.  How often do we work on multiple tasks at once and then at the same time deal with email, answer phone calls, or talk with people we may see?  I see it whenever I am in the office where conversations are being carried out and the phones are in the hand scrolling through email or something.

Again, multitasking is a myth.  Now why do I say this?  It seems so anti-productive to say such a thing.  I know there will some of you that think this is BS and think you can multitask through anything.  But stop and think about this?  If you are trying to focus on your attention on different things simultaneously, how can you be fully present in any of it.  You can’t.  You absolutely cannot.  I think of conversations I have had with my wife.  Over the last 18 years, I could not even begin to tell you how many times she stops to ask, ‘what did I just say?’  I have often found myself distracted by either the TV, my computer or phone, or something else and I was not fully present in the conversation.  In that sense, it can kill the connection with that person, namely my wife.  For us guys, we find it easy to throw out the excuse of being a guy.  The problem here is that also part of being a man and talking to our wives is being present and hearing them. Being engaged in what they say.  Pursue that.  We are too busy these days and we miss so much in those conversations and it can really hurt a relationship.

Look at Jesus.  He was a mans man, not a hippie picking lilies with his friends.  When He conversed with people in his ministry and in his personal relationship, we see that He is fully engaged.  He is present in those moments with those people.  When the disciples would try to blow somebody off, He stepped right in and engaged. He was present to the people He came to save.  He is present with all of us and wants to engage with all of us.  If we are too busy trying to multitask, we can’t even be present to foster and grow our relationship with Jesus Christ.  Try it.  I have been where I am trying to jump into Scripture, prayer, and writing in my journal and then get distracted by conversation, my phone, or other noise.  It can’t happen.  You can’t be locked into the Lord and converse with Him and walk with Him when you are trying to do other things also. You have to be present just as He wants to be present for us.

I was listening to a Ransomed Heart audio recording called “The Spirit of the Age.”  In it John Eldredge touches on this.  He talks about about the issues we today of always having to go,go,go.  Our lives are so busy and we feel we have to tackle so many things at one time order to get anything done.  Then when we have a moment with nothing on, we panic an feel like we have to do something.  Not having something to do seems to make us vulnerable and unable to hide.  We get lost and hide in our business and multitasking. I definitely have these days too.  My life is all go with work, now school again, and then my family.  When we find a day of no activity, we rejoice in it and try to relax and take advantage.  Before long however, I feel like I need to do something.  Feel like I am wasting the day if I am not doing ‘something.’

We have to slow down.  We have to learn to connect in our lives.  Be present in the things we do and interactions we are having.  Be present in our time with the Lord.  Be present in our conversations with our spouses and our children.  Be present in our work and whatever we are working on.  You can’t be present, however, if you are trying to do it all at once.  You can make time.  You can slow your life down.  Learn to live and get away from the demands of go, go, go.  Imagine the freedom that will bring.  I know at first many will panic at this, but it’s possible.

Remember, multitasking is a myth.  In your work, it will lead to poorer production.  It will lead to less engagement in anything.  Don’t be a multitasker.  Break the trend of this myth.  Live free from the demands of the world and what it puts on you.  Come Alive!

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