Connect, connect, connect has brought us to a place where we feel overwhelmed, overstimulated and unfulfilled. We're under constant stress because our orientation is: ‘I don't want to miss anything.' " Linda Stone, former executive for Microsoft and Apple
Multi-tasking. It's so last week.
Multi-tasking. It's so last week.
I think I can do three things at once. Maybe four. I can check my email and talk on the phone at the same time, certainly. And have lunch at that same time. If someone holds up a piece of paper with a question on it, I can nod yes or no without losing track of the rest of the goings-on. ANd if there's a breaking news pop-up on my computer, I can read that, too.
If I'm on the phone and have to answer an email at the same time, I'm very careful to type quietly so the person on the phone doesn't know I'm doing it.
I used to think this was a very supergirl accomplishment, cool and competent and efficient. Now it's just beginning to drive me crazy.
My producer Mary, colleague and pal, is even better/worse at it. She wears one of those earheadphone things so she has two hands to do other stuff. And so it happened one day recently, I was trying to tell her something important.
And she was "listening" to me, but she was also checking her email. I stopped talking. A fraction of a moment later, she said--What, again?" And that was the moment my life changed.
You're not listening to me, I said. Maybe in more snippy a tone than absolutely necessary. She insisted she was, but she wasn't. Okay, she was, but only half her brain, if that. And that was so annoying.
So, I've stopped checking my mail while on the phone. And I feel better about it. I still eat lunch at my desk. But if you're talking to me, I promise you'll have my full attention.
Multi-tasking. It's so last week. For me. Maybe. Do you multi?
JAN: I meditate every morning for fifteen minutes just so I WON'T multi-think, let alone multi-task. Stay in the moment and all that. Very this week. Or maybe next week.
But the truth is I'm not efficient enough to multi-task with any aplomb. My children make fun of me because I make everybody stop talking when I make a left turn. And if you were talking to me while I was also checking email or paying bills, you can be 100 percent sure that my brain will screw it up.
So simply to maintain quality control standards, I don't multi-task. And some days I have to concentrate, real, real hard just to task.
RO: There's a certain level of activity where I happily juggle four or five things - e.g., checking emails, talking to my 85 yr old aunt on the phone, watching the game, paying bills - but, as the importance rises, whether it's personal or professional, I like to limit it to two or three. When I'm writing that's all I can do.
I multithink all the time - Africa, promoting Daisies, writing book two, my weight, gardening, my friend who needs a job, oh yeah, my husband, it's all there, all the time. The quiet time comes when I garden or row.
HALLIE: Multithink. I like that. But really, that thing where you talk to someone and they start doing something (filing nails, reading the paper, answering the cell)? That's rude. And you know, great for that moment in writing a book where you're looking for the TELLING gesture to show DIS-R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And how come all the great ideas come when you can't possibly write them down (in the shower, driving)?
HANK: It's supposed to make you more efficient. Multi-anything. When it makes you LESS efficient, then there's a problem.
Although we all have our different ways of looking at the world. If I have to make 2 turkey sandwiches, I put out 4 pieces of bread. Mayo on 2. Then, lettuce on each sandwich. Tomato on each. Turkey on each. Close. Result: 2 sandwiches. When my husband does it, he makes one whole sandwich. Then the other whole sandwich.. Neither of us can fathom why the other would do it their way.
That's maybe off the point. But it does show brains are funny things.
Do you multi? Are you a one sandwich at a time? Or two?
Breaking news (you can read this while doing something else)
A very nice article about me and the Charlie MCNally Mysteries.