Paula’s Post #98
For those of you who, like me, are compelled to ‘google’ everything, (from the calories in our Starbucks to the stars of the latest binge series on Netflix) I challenge you to enter the following terms into the search box:
‘What multi-tasking does to your brain”
1. Having 20 tabs open on your laptop while shapchatting with your best friend, eating a sandwich, and listening to Taylor Swift is overwhelming, and makes you mean.
2. You’ve likely heard that multitasking is problematic, but new studies show that it kills your performance and may even damage your brain.
3. If you are sending a text, watching the TV or listening to the radio, you may want to stop and give this your full attention.
Multi-tasking shrinks the brain, research suggests, and it could even be damaging your career.
A study found that men and women who frequently used several types of technology at the same time had less grey matter in a key part of the brain.
These are just a few of the headlines from the top results, but peruse these and similar articles for just a few minutes. After all, that’s likely all the time you have if, like me, you’re engaged in ‘multi-tasking’ (say, for instance, composing this blog post a day late, while:
1) watching your new, 3 pound, 8 week old puppy terrorize your 80 pound dog who has just realized this crazed little whirling dervish is here to stay; and
2) simultaneously checking your email on all six accounts you maintain in case anything important happens to:
a) the deal for the sale of your house;
b) the offer on the house you want to acaquire;
c) the two listings you have in Canada;
d) the two listings you have in California; and
3) Finishing off your online shopping order for the 10 pounds of puppy food shipped by Amazon.com and the birthday toys shipped to baby granddaughter M in Canada, making sure to tick all the boxes for rush delivery and gift wrap since somehow you were supposed to have done this 2 days ago but were barrelling down the long expanse of I-5, and
4) Finishing your grocery list, (completely out of coffee and milk, – how can that be?) while dressing for your tennis team match at 1:00 (no, I’m not playing, while all my team mates have focused on lessons and the ball machine, I’ve focused on puppies and properties, so now am ‘benched’ until my fitness level and doubles strategy improve substantially, but hey, there is a video I can order for that online too, and I’m pretty sure I can watch it while keeping the new puppy at bay, finishing up my novel for my book club meeting on February 10th and ordering movers and packing materials just in case my house deal completes, (which I’ll be checking the status of in my US work email account, (except I better check all the accounts, because sometimes they come to my personal account.
5) Checking what new Pins are on Pinterest, what new Status Updates are on Facebook and what new Listings are on Redfin, but that hardly counts, because I do that every hour anyway, and even if I don’t, I get a reminder email telling me to do so… so I really don’t need to worry, do I.
Or do I?
Those of us of a certain age are already worried enough about the A word (Alzheimers) and even the more garden variety D word (Dementia). Do we really need an avalanche of new scientific studies that suggest that all the modern miracles of technology and social media are shrinking our brains and turning are brains into the grey matter equivalent of quivering jellyfish.
What are we to do about all these new studies. How are we to take a giant step back and rethink how we function throughout the day in a ‘back to basics’ one task at a time kind of way?
I’m the first to say I do not know the answers to all these questions, but I’ve started to try to find them. Without some serious consideration about how to simplify my life and focus on one task at a time, I fear my latest novel has no hope of getting completed, much less published, even with the option of self-publishing on Amazon.
So… I’m open to all suggestions. You can respond to this blog post and I promise to get back to you. Probably sooner than I should. After all, I am, regrettably, still Hare.