Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Distracted? Or Multi-tasking?

Multi-tasking is overrated.  You may think you're doing more, but really, you're just doing more things - less well.  I mean the more you stack on the pile, the more likely something is going to fall, right?!

I googled images of both words.  Funny thing.  Here is what I found.  Can you guess which one is distracted and which one is multi-tasking?

I know there is a ton of research out there right now confirming my suspicions:

“Multitasking is going to slow you down, increasing the chances of mistakes,” said David E. Meyer, a cognitive scientist and director of the Brain, Cognition and Action Laboratory at the University of Michigan. “Disruptions and interruptions are a bad deal from the standpoint of our ability to process information.”

Here is a hilarious (don't know if true, but hilarious none-the-less) image of one such "mistake" from this article on why multi-tasking is bad:

That explains my life to a tee right now.

I get so many distractions all day long that I am constantly trying to remember what I was just doing a moment ago before __________ happened or before ____________ called or before _________ email came in or before _________ stopped by.  That is at work.

Then, I come home and it's chaos all over!  What to tackle?  I have 5 minutes (I think).  So, I start something, but then someone needs something, the task is put aside and the forgotten about and I'm on to other things, then it's time for dinner, then dishes, the bath time, then bedtime, then whew!  I'm tired....wait....what's that over there?  Oh yeah, I was going to call the doctor about Maddy's glasses.  Once again, fail.  Not done.  Another week goes by and it's not done.  Now it's almost 10 and it must wait until tomorrow to try again.  When will I fit it into the day?

All I know is that I seem to be able to knock 2-3 things off my official "to do" list each day at work.  Now, maybe that's reasonable to some, but to me, it's absurd.  That should only take a couple hours - not all day!  Where is all that time going?

I am thinking of:
  • meetings starting late
  • forgetting a piece of paper and having to backtrack to get it
  • the phone interrupting meetings
  • the knock on the door interrupting another meeting
  • the side bar conversation in the middle of the meeting
  • the 5 people who showed up unexpectedly who needed 1/2 hour of time each
  • the real needs of real people around me that need prayer or encouragement
  • all the unnecessary emails and spam, even at work!  can't get rid of it.  Grrrrrrr
  • so much paperwork and clutter, it's just piling up and there's no time to tackle it
  • a frustrating database that freezes up my computer when try to send out an email
  • waiting for the internet another grrrrrrr when I just want it NOW!!
crazy life!

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