Multitasking is the ability to perform more than one task, or activity, at the same time.
But are we saving time doing two or three things at once? Experts throw around phrases like context switching, Switch-Tasking, and continuous partial attention. This article says multitasking can reduce productivity by 40 percent.
When raising kids, we all multitask. Until we can’t.
My daughter recently shattered her wrist. It forced the multitasking mama of three to reorganize priorities. After surgery on her dominant left hand, holding her baby, changing a diaper, tying a balloon, etc. was impossible. Single-tasking became a thing—make a bottle for the baby THEN play Legos with her toddler THEN make lunch. No more juggling chores with a fragile arm not yet in a cast. Life. Slowed. Way. Down.
After trial and error, my clever daughter figured out how to change those diapers, sign for a Fed Ex delivery, (Hey, none of our signatures are legible!) and even prepare homemade pizza with one hand! In celebration, she opened a sparkling bottle of rosé. I don’t know how she did it. I left the room. I fear things that go pop.
With multitasking on the brain, I scrutinized gadgets that intend to do double duty.
Until my daughter’s wrist heals, some duties can wait. Social media can wait. Dust can wait. Neatly folded clothes? Overrated.
But my favorite activities are those that demand undivided attention—eating Sunday lunch with my husband, playing the piano, or reading books to my grandchildren.
When do you multitask?