Our brains are amazing. Stunning creations of computing many thousands of signals simultaneously. In fact, the design includes placing most of the tasks our bodies require on automatic pilot so that we can use awareness and conscious thought on more creative and relational tasks such as communication, creativity and problem solving.
I did a short video on this, you can find it on our FB page HERE.
Many of us take a great deal of pride in our ability to multi-task. We can cook while talking on the phone. We can put on our clothes while keeping one eye on how our kids are getting ready to go out and get on the bus. We can return an e-mail while listening to a staff person reporting on a work issue.
Here are some other examples:
Worshiping and reading a book
Listen to your spouse while finishing a task like writing a letter
Washing dishes while Cooking dinner
Listen to a sermon while writing a list of examples of multi-tasking (Like I was trying to do just now!)
Playing two chess games at once
Changing your brake pads while watching your children
Some of these are simple. Some are silly, Some could be downright dangerous!
Now, we can do these things. But for every task you try to accomplish at the same time as another, you use precious brain band-width switching back and forth between one task and another.
Our brains can only focus on ONE conscious thought at a time. Our conscious mind can only handle one action in one moment.
It is a lot like listening to two radio stations at once. You can enjoy a song on one station, and a talk show on another. You can tap a button and very quickly switch over, but there is a short moment while your tuner stops one station, finds the second, and sends the signal from the antenna, through the circuits, and out through the speakers. There is a small pause with each switch of the stations. And the more frequently you switch back and forth, the more of those splits you lose to simply changing channels.
In the same way, for each layer of multi-tasking you take on, you sacrifice efficiency on each of them. This happens VERY quickly – back and forth between the two activities (or three or four) our circuitry flips back and forth between the tasks. It happens so fast we can convince ourselves that we are doing them at the same time, but for a split second, as your brain shifts from one focus to the next, you are doing neither of them.
This is the small, subtle, but significant cost to multi-tasking.
I know that sometimes it is necessary to do this. A parent often has to get a child ready for school while making breakfast AND getting their own self ready for the day.
In my office, I sometimes have to shift back and forth between patient visits and keeping staff on task.
These things are necessary – and they are okay, as long as we RECOGNIZE THAT WE PAY A PRICE in effectiveness with every task we attempt in the same chunk of time.
The less we try to tackle two activities at once, the more we can use the full and amazing brainpower God gave us to handle the challenges of life. Focus as sharply as you can, and watch your creativity and effectiveness grow!
Here at Delta Chiropractic Center we love helping our people get better and stay healthy. Join us at Delta-Chiro.com
Or call us at 517.321.3030