There is a cost to multitasking disconnect.
You are with someone and chatting. Their phone rings. They answer and suddenly you are ignored. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever done that to someone else?
Multi-tasking is a common scene today, and even expected in many settings. The definition is to complete several tasks at the same time. It is assumed that all tasks are completed with the same intensity or success, but really? Statistics show that humans are not as smart as we think, and often most or all of multi-tasks are only partly or insufficiently completed. We’ve become a culture satisfied with as-good-as-I-can while doing something else, but – When trying to do more, we accomplish less. (Jeff Goines). Haven’t you experienced being waited on in a store when the phone rings, and suddenly the clerk has lost the focus and is trying to answer the person on the phone, while caring for your service. Neither of you gets full attention and neither action gets completed as satisfactorily as they should.
Most multitasking is an illusion. You think you are getting more done, but in reality you are wasting time switching from one task to another. (Bosco Tjan)
Loss of friendship is a potential cost of multi-tasking CHOICE. Yes, I did use that word. If I am talking with my friend, half-listening if truth were known, because I am thinking about how I will respond, or worrying about that last text from another friend. The phone dings. I CHOOSE to turn from my in-person friend and look at the text. Then I CHOOSE to read the entire text and think about how to respond to it. The first friend continues to sip their coffee or walk beside, waiting for my return, but they are lost to me. I am now in conversation with the texting friend. Has this happened to you?
If I did that I would have chosen to DISCONNECT with the in-person friend and telling him or her as boldly as if I put up a sign – this text is now the priority – it is more important than whatever you were communicating. When I continue to text and ignore the in-person friend, I am communicating to my in-person friend – this message and person is more important than our friendship, and more important than you.
A bit strong? Most likely we do not mean to convey such painful conclusions, but if you care about your work, BE there, complete each thing thoroughly. When you divide your focus neither gets the full attention it deserves.
When you care about someone, when you are with them BE with them – as much as you like others to listen to you and BE with you!
Gary Keller, in The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, sums it up with three little words:
“Multitasking is a lie”
Ecclesiastes 4:6 ESV
Prov. 7:24 So, friends, listen to me, take these words of mine most seriously.