Throughout my whole life I have claimed to be a wonderful multitask-er. I didn’t even have a desire to do one thing at a time, it had to be at least two things at a time. Working on homework? No. It had to be working on homework and watching a movie, or listening to music, or catching up with a friend while texting. Watching TV or a movie? No not that either. I have to be doing something whether it be knitting, making lists, playing on my computer, or something else. It drives me crazy to drive in the car by myself because I’m only doing one thing. I typically end up making a phone call so I can catch up with husband, mom, or a friend. (No worries, I use speakerphone – it’s illegal to talk on the phone in WV unless you are hands-free)
Last night I had a bit of a revelation. I guess more like a realization of something I should have realized long ago. The thoughts continued into my morning drive to and from work. I am not multitasking; it’s more like multiprocrastinating or multifailing and a ton of other fake words I could make up.
When I sit down during the day to work on an assignment I typically turn on my latest Netflix obsession (We don’t have cable, and Netflix might be ruining my life). I then spend the next hour or two, half doing homework and half watching my show. By the end of an episode I have accomplished a few questions, way less than I should have and I can’t even really remember what happened during the episode. It sucks.
Some may say I do that because I hate homework and don’t want to pay attention and I want to be distracted. That’s really not it though (well, not all the time). I think I have discovered it’s because I don’t allow myself a little me time everyday. I feel like I’m not being productive enough and therefore I’m failing if I’m just working on one thing, or even worse just enjoying one thing. I am constantly doing things and I try to tell myself it’s okay to watch Netflix as a fun thing as long as I do homework while doing it. Then as a consequence of taking forever to finish my homework and half watch TV I am out of time and I still haven’t really relaxed.
Last night when I got home from my day that began around 6am and I unloaded groceries at 9pm I discovered a little more homework I could do and a few dirty dishes in the sink. I considered plopping down on the couch, watching an episode of my guilty pleasure and working on a paper; it was then that all of this started to hit me. I needed to relax. I didn’t need to work my mind harder and somehow accomplish less. So that’s what I did. I curled up on the couch by myself (husband was still out as he had been since 5:30am; Mondays suck) and just let my myself do nothing but enjoy a show. Then I was able to fall into bed relaxed but tired at around 10:30. It was a great feeling.
So here is to letting myself relax, letting myself do nothing, letting myself veg out. But even more so, here is to giving my all to one thing at a time.
Do you multitask? Do you find it be helpful or harmful?