March 1, 2017
MULTI-TASKING, HELP OR HINDER?
Linda M. Penn
Walking and texting; driving and texting; homework and watching TV; cooking and helping the children with homework; listening to music and writing. ARE YOU A SUCCESSFUL MULTI-TASKER? AND HOW ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN? Do they watch TV, text, and play a video game – ALL AT THE SAME TIME? And probably when you ask them if they are doing their homework, they will answer, “yes.”
So…is it possible to concentrate successfully on several tasks at the same time? I used to be able to fix supper, do laundry, help my kids with their homework, answer emails, grade papers, talk on the phone, and even manage to munch on a cookie. However, now that I am retired, there is no way!
I recall complimenting a friend’s daughter on her “gift” of multi-tasking as she played an online game, texted with a friend, and supposedly completed homework. I used to think multi-tasking was evidence of efficiency.
Guess what? I recently read articles about multi-taskers who thought they were boosting their performances when actually they had reduced efficiency. The research that supported the articles said that our brains can only focus on one thing at a time, and brains could even be damaged, developing “bad brain habits” with so much switching quickly from one focus to another.
Gee, I knew there was a reason I disliked trying to have a conversation with the grandkids when they were playing on their phones. I was feeling “old and outdated” by their marginal attention to what I was saying. I suppose their brains were just acting normally by staying focused on whatever important items happened to be on their phones.
Okay, can we all be a little more conscious of trying to concentrate on ONE thing at a time? Particularly if I am a passenger in your car while you are texting! Let’s somehow try to be good models for our kids.
I have to admit I am sitting on the couch writing this article, and trying to watch two programs on TV – all at the same time. It is not working well. My husband just came in and asked what were the scores of the basketball games I was supposed to be watching. I responded with, “we were losing by four points, but that was awhile ago. I have no idea what it is now. And the other game, gee, too much to keep up with!” (I had no kids or grandkids watching me at this time, so, was that alright?)
I promise I will try to do better! As a matter of fact, it is two days later and I am now concentrating totally on finishing up this blog.
If this research about multi-tasking interests you, there are several websites that popped up after I typed in “Is multi-tasking good or bad for our brains?” Check them out!
(I wonder if I can get my husband to read them? Do you think he would then start concentrating on what I am saying to him? Just kidding, honey!)
Come back the first week of April. Blog title: “SPRING BREAK, THEN, IT’S THAT PESKY TESTING TIME!”
COPYRIGHT 2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED LINDA M. PENN