Confessions of a multitasker
“Multitasking causes a kind of brownout in the brain. Meyer says all the lights go dim because there just isn’t enough power to go around.”
I don’t like hearing this. Even if I kind of knew it was true.
I like multitasking. I like to consider myself a multitasking master. I take pride in the fact that I can write this post while listening to music, brewing my coffee, getting my kids ready for school, eating breakfast, checking my email, reviewing today’s news, running the laundry, and even saying a quick prayer here and there. . . just like many of you.
I don’t think I could get through the day without multitasking. It’s necessary. It makes me feel powerful. Useful. Creative. Smart. Efficient.
Maybe. . . not so much. Science shows it isn’t really possible to focus our brains on mutliple things at once and do them all well.
Especially when a ball drops, and everything comes tumbling down.
Last week I had a few of those moments. I was trying to keep multiple family demands, work assignments, and volunteer commitments afloat. I should have let something go or asked for help so I could focus on the most important ones. But instead, my pride took over, and balls started dropping. It wasn’t a huge avalanche, but I realized things were not fully under my control.
Kind of like a brownout. A warning. If I keep overloading the circuits, a major outage may be imminent.
I believe these warnings serve a purpose. No matter how skillfully I multitask , there are times when I need a little help. A flicker of the lights to make me slow down, connect, and rely on others. I ease back into community, where humans rely on one another. And perhaps I clear a channel for those prayers to be really voiced and heard.
What about you? Have you had a brownout lately? What helps you focus on what matters?