We are all multi-tasking maniacs; aren’t we? Geez, it says it even in the title. I have 2 hyphenated descriptors in my title. I can’t even add words without multi-tasking them. I bet you’re a lot like me. Multi-tasking has become a way of life for most of us. It’s how we get things done. Or is it?
While in the shower this morning, I asked myself, “Why has no one invented a waterproof idea pad that I could take in the shower to jot notes?” It’s where most of my inspirations happen! Why not? Because it would defeat the whole purpose (besides getting clean) of the shower. It would once again split your focus and you’d find yourself back in the multi-tasking loop again. Your brain would have even less time to process all of the information and develop ideas related to your thinking. And we need that time. (Yes, I know you just clicked the link again.)
When I taught in elementary classrooms it was rare for my attention to not be split for more than 10 minutes. Children demand attention frequently and add to that actual instruction, alternative approaches to reach every student, plus the need to engage students, answer the intercom, fix that darn strap on my shoe, and make sure Bobby had his pencil and I was a multi-tasking queen.
Once safe from the 25 attention-getters at home, I dealt with the normal kid (and adult homework), bed-readying, fighting-referee, etc. It seemed to never stop. We all have similar stories. I guess that’s why I always need down time, alone, to process, in the quiet.
It’s so natural for us now; except it really isn’t. It’s a drive to know everything. The internet has made our lives so much easier, quicker, more engaging, and split-focused. It is dulling the creative side of our brains by limiting our thought processes.
I saw it in students- way too much. Staying focused on one task was almost impossible. Many had also experienced the “restricted creativity” that takes place in so many classrooms. Nothing too “out of the box” since it would take us off on a tangent, and lord knows we can’t have that. Yeah, I was a rule breaker. Creative. Let it flow (and yet I was still a multi-tasking queen). The kids fought it- and hard. Learning without thinking was a motto many embraced. Sad.
These days, I’m giving my brain a break and fighting the urge to add just one more link while focusing on my work. I’m all for slowing down and letting the mind process (right after I check for one more thing).