This month I’m going to encourage you to stop lying to yourself.
How’s that for a bold and audacious aim?
And I hope it sparked curiosity as to just what this lie might be. After all, we don’t like the idea that we lie to ourselves, do we? But there’s one lie I’m done telling myself and I want you to get over lying as well.
We cannot, simply cannot, yes not you or me or anyone, multi-task. Maybe you think you can, maybe you’ve already tackled this in your own life, or maybe you won’t believe me because you think you’re a good multi-tasker, but the truth is multi-tasking doesn’t work.
Over the years I’ve written about the myth of multi-tasking and the loss of focus and how detrimental these are to our general health and well-being, and especially our brain health. I’m not a lone voice, though.
This recent article in The Guardian is a must-read.
Did you realize your attention span has been stolen from you?
One part of the article struck me: “When neuroscientists studied this, they found that when people believe they are doing several things at once, they are actually juggling. They’re switching back and forth. They don’t notice the switching because their brain sort of papers it over to give a seamless experience of consciousness, but what they’re actually doing is switching and reconfiguring their brain moment-to-moment, task-to-task – [and] that comes with a cost.”
It’s crucial to protect your brain and reclaim its abilities to focus, rather than scatter and move from task to task without concentration and results.
One way to protect your brain’s superpowers is to watch less TV! It seems like I’m the bearer of bad news but yes, TV is rotting your brain!
So if multi-tasking isn’t really possible (and we’re done pretending it’s otherwise) and the better way is to focus on one task at a time (because that’s really all we can do), what’s the next step?
First is realizing just how off track you are, how much your attention span suffers from lack of focus, and being honest about how this all affects your well-being.
Radical honesty is called for.
If you’re willing to pay the price this self-reflection extracts from you, at least then you’ll have done a true cost/benefit analysis.
If like me you are committed to refocusing your time and attention on what really matters and helping your brain last your life span, then don’t let another day go by without taking action on the changes and behavior adjustments you need to make.
Read books such as Cal Newport, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.
Cal’s book was a game changer for me.
Look at the blog posts I’m publishing about healthy living and brain health.
And seek out sources that encourage you to learn and grow and TBYB (take back your brain).
Your future self, no matter where you’re starting from, will be very proud of you and grateful, too.
Until next month, find joy-in-movement and let me know how you’re tackling the myth of multi-tasking!