The Great Balancing Act: Achieving Balance

Jenn Marie Maxwell

Multitasking. Is it Worth it?

on July 1, 2013

multitasking-mom1

I have always prided myself in being an effective “multi-tasker.” I even have it on my résumé to impress anyone out there with my mad multitasking skills. Here’s the definition of multi-tasking. Basically, the performance of many tasks at one time. I have seen on job boards their desire for multitaskers and I have tried so very hard to make this a prime skill of mine.
At work, I can handle many tasks – I can answer the phone while doing a budget report and I can talk to co-workers about a topic or question while emailing a client.

But personally – being a mother, wife, and student I believe I have taken it too far and it has ended up hurting me more than helping me. I can’t do homework AND spend time with my step-kids, nor can I cook dinner while figuring out the next week’s schedule. Sometimes we just have to buckle down and do one task at a time (at work and in our personal lives).

New research actually shows that multitaskers might be doing more tasks at one time but also getting less done at the same time. A great article on Forbes called, How Multitasking Hurts Your Brain (and Your Effectiveness at Work) talks about how it has been scientifically proven that our brains cannot efficiently switch between tasks.

What?!? But I thought I was so darn good at this…In light of this I have attempted to do some “light” multitasking. Answering emails and phones at work while working on tasks that don’t require a lot of effort but not trying to do my homework and spend time with my family. I have vowed to myself that I will work harder on eliminating my multitasking ways, especially in the home. I’m going to prioritize and get my personal things done before I try to do other thing. How nice it will be to watch a movie with my husband without having to do homework at the same time! I’m seeing better quality time ahead, as well as more productive time. If I just buckle down to get things done I’m sure they will be completed faster and at higher quality. I read a blog titled, 6 Reasons Why Mom Shouldn’t Multi-task. It just further proves my complete inability to multitask in the home…
The ultimate conclusion to it all is that it is purely unhealthy and creates additional stress which I believe. Maybe that’s why I’m stressed all the time. I’m putting too much on my plate at one time – and for what? To prove what an amazing and incredibly stressed out multitasker I am?

Now, more than ever I believe that achieving balance is done by focussing on what’s important; prioritizing our time and not trying to be these amazing and frizzy-haired multitaskers. There’s a reason we can’t put eyeliner and mascara on at the same time – it’s dangerous!

So I ask you, what do you really think of multitasking? Do you think it hurts you more than it helps you?

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