We take our Blackberries into the bathroom and listen to music while we work. While us old fogeys have to be content with doing 2, maybe 3 things at a time, it is marvel to watch a teenager at it – simultaneous screens on the laptop deal with Instant Messages, chat rooms, homework assignments and YouTube; earphones blare music in one ear while the cell phone is pressed to the other.
Are we really mindful about any of the activities we are doing? Can we really concentrate on or enjoy any of the various appeals to our senses? I sense that multitasking has made us shallow consumers, not of products, but of technology. Our attention spans have gone down and our depth of understanding of any one subject has virtually disappeared.
That’s my hypothesis anyway. In a bid to find out what I’m missing, I plan to make February 21st “Uni”tasking Day for myself. So
-no taking a book into the bathroom
-no drinking tea with the newspaper
-no eating in front of the TV
-no multiple screens on the computer open at a time
-no listening to music or talking on the cellphone while I drive
and finishing whatever show on the television I start watching. You get the point. I plan to give my full attention to whatever activity I start and see if I can survive the day.
Will you join me? Pick any day over the next week that is convenient. See how long you can go without slipping. Share your experiences with me.
Ok, I won’t do two or more tasks at the same time. But am I allowed to switch from task to task? I’ll watch TV for a couple of minutes (the time a serial bit lasts before the commercials come on), switch off, take a bite of dinner, put my spoon down, switch on the TV watch the next two minutes of bilge, switch off… is that ok?
Ha! We are desperate, aren’t we! Yes, I guess that’s ok since you’ll be doing just one thing at a time..but don’t be surprised if your head starts spinning after a while. 😀
As much as I love this experiment, at this point in time it’s seems impossible. With a 3 yr old and a 2 month old at home, finding the time to drink a hot cup of tea is a treat in itself. Catching up on sleep while putting the 2 month old for a nap and reading a book on the side to the 3 year before her nap is what is normal. 😀 Hopefully I can join you in a few months.
I hear you! I suspect the worst part will be not having something to eat or drink with the morning newspaper, which is a very precious ritual.