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Multitasking: How much is too much?

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Making dinner. Checking emails. Sending a text message to confirm next weeks lunch date with a friend; all within a 2-minute time span. With the advancement of technology, modern life catches us in her whirlwind, attempting to keep pace with the speed, and agility, of technology. While we’re spinning within this vortex of life-how often do we stop to attune to what we are doing? Furthermore, what does this model for younger generations?

Slippery Slope

As adults, we have become bombarded with expectations to respond faster, produce a quicker turnaround, and generally speaking, be “on” all the time. Younger generations –aka kids- may not have the same pressing felt-sense, yet they too are sent messages faster, implying instant change. Unless socially isolated, the stealth presence of multitasking creeps up – in the guise of being helpful. While splitting one’s attention can, and does, have its advantages. It shouldn’t spiral to control us.

Slowing Down

An aspect to the art of living is joy within the moment. When we are consumed by “doing” we leave little, if any, room for present awareness. Aside from the abstract perspective of slowing down, doing so also models to those around you-like your children- important aspects other than “doing”. Furthermore, slowing down also sets an example for sustained attention to one task at a time. Slowing down demonstrates the small nuances of problem solving, which allow for multitasking. Additionally, multitasking implies one individual to complete multiple tasks. When we slow down, we allow an authentic collaborative opportunity to arise, that of working together.

Practice Points

While it may seem intuitive, slowing down may be simply stated yet challenging to implement. Below are some points to keep in mind when the ride of life seems to accelerate.

· Take a breath. While this may not slow the motion, it allows you to resume with a bit of clarity and autonomy, rather than being on autopilot.

· Ask for help. Even for something small allow you to slow down and share a moment with another.

· Remember doing lots splits your attention, but may not do all things well. Give yourself permission to slow down and attend to one thing at a time. Besides, the rest will be there later!

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