You can’t do everything, and when you try you miss life.
Recently I watched a commuter get off a bus and start walking to work. He had large headphones on and was reading a paper, arms outstretched, and constantly looking back and forth between the footpath and the paper, so as not to lose his way on either his walk or his story.
The multi-tasking that this commuter was trying to achieve just presented itself to me as a microcosm of 21st century life. Trying to do three things at once and not fully experiencing any of them.
Not only was this commuter missing out on the simple pleasure of walking; the autumn colours of the trees, the people walking towards him, the sounds of a busy morning school run, the beautiful sky, but he was also missing out on the true appreciation of whatever he was listening to and all it’s wonderful complexity. Then, to top it off, he surely couldn’t have completely taken on board whatever he was reading as he glanced back and forth to make sure he didn’t trip up.
It seems like such a microcosm of life today. Such little time to enjoy life that we have to cram everything in, just to keep up.
How many times have you been out for a drink with friends and felt compelled to check your email?
Have you ever woken up and checked Facebook before getting out of bed?
Are you ever working on a project while constantly replying to emails, opening the post, answering phones and checking Twitter?
What do we think will happen if we don’t ‘keep up’?
Life is moving at such a fast pace that we can’t possibly keep up. The age of information availability twinned with the age of instant communication has created system overload. There is just simply too much to process, and we have no way of keeping up with it.
Multi-tasking is a curse, and the desire to keep up with the world is stealing our ability to simply experience it. Advances in technology should have given us less to do, not more.
How many fantastic experiences have you interrupted by having to photograph them, film them on your iPhone, tweet about them or update Facebook?
One of my pet hates is the status update “just sat on the beach enjoying a drink in the sun”…..no you’re not, you’re on Facebook…
Multi-tasking doesn’t work, and just serves to speed up your life to the point of missing it.
Experience the now.
Fully immerse yourself in what you’re doing.
Take a proper lunch break.
Get up earlier and enjoy a morning un-rushed.
Stop thinking so much.
Start just ‘tasking’. Drop the ‘multi’.