The Myth of Multitasking

Keeping Focus

MultitaskingThere are many people who pride themselves on being great at multitasking. Some claim the ability to multitask is a generational thing, or perhaps it is a gender strength.  I have never done extensive research on this matter outside of personal observation and experimentation. I have, however, come to a simple conclusion: we were not designed for multitasking.

I am not saying that at some level people may be able to function in a mode of multitasking. I am saying that it is not the best way to function, and I dare say we are cheating ourselves when we try to multitask. Working from home has been an adventure in multi-tasking. Most often I find myself working at home alone. With no one in the office next door I can crank the tunes while I work, or watch the latest netflix binge series on my ipad while reviewing email, designing graphics, filing or creating a schedule.  Based on the number of items misfiled, the emails that “slipped through the cracks” or the graphics with the wrong dimensions I think it is safe to say I can not multitask.

For me I have learned to keep a single focus.  Work on one thing and do it well and get it done. This is not to say I never shift from one project to the next as I go through a day, but I only work on one at a time.  This is especially helpful as one who struggles with depression. Those tasks that are started but drift into something else without closure build up until I am overwhelmed and can’t do any of them. I am back to the almighty task list and checking things off one by one.

So what does this have to do with Pondering God?  I believe that we were created not to multitask but to dual task.  Two tasks, even a non multi-tasker like me should be able to keep two balls in the air at once. Here is the focus for our dual tasking:

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

Luke 10:25-28

This is not the only place that God reveals this dual tasking focus for our lives. See also:  Matthew 22:34-40 Mark 12:28-34 In fact the Old testament laws and the word of the prophets all point to this dual tasking focus.

So the next time you are stressed about the many items you seem to be trying to do at one time, relax and comeback to the two things that really matter: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

<>< Craig

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