Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Best Read From Your iPhone While Doing 10 Other Things

I find it only appropriate that this post, containing a random assortment of my current thoughts, stemmed from the topic and issue of multitasking that I have been giving a lot of thought to recently.
So what is the real definition of multitasking? Well our good friend Wikipedia always delivers...

Human multitasking is the performance by an individual of appearing to handle more than one task at the same time. The term is derived from computer multitasking. An example of multitasking is listening to a radio interview while typing an email. Some believe that multitasking can result in time wasted due to human context switching and apparently causing more errors due to insufficient attention.

As I pointed out, this term is derived from the function of computer multitasking. Unfortunately, humans are just not computers. I'm sure we can all see then how silly it is that we try to handle so much at once without many of the appropriate hardware for these capabilities.

After watching Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier, which is a Frontline series video, for an assignment we are giving my University 101 class, (that I highly encourage you check out) I can't stop thinking about the amount that I multitask. More so, I can't shake the fact that I couldn't be successful without the disgusting amount that I multitask. This coupled with my current behavior of listening to Coldplay's new album, Mylo Xyloto from dawn until dusk with the track Paradise on repeat, is leaving me with many thoughts.

"When she was just a girl, she expected the world
But it flew away from her reach so, she ran away in her sleep
And dreamed of Paradise"

I'm not sure when I had to become so busy in order to be successful. Another assignment with my U101 class was reading and writing about Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture. If you haven't done this--please do it immediately. You can finish the book in one night, or even watch his lecture online. One of Pausch's lessons is about the secret to getting ahead, which simply enough is...hard work. 

I know that it's pertinent to work hard and gain experience to be successful but when did this begin to mean getting to a level when you almost feel like you can no longer function? I absolutely love what I'm doing but cannot help but dream everyday about May 4th, my master's hooding day. I dream about a life when I don't get home at 9pm almost everyday. Where I can get back into personal activities that I enjoy. Will I get to a point where I'll be able to stop multitasking and running around so much that I'll actually be able to sleep at night with a brain that isn't so wired? 

While I heard the movie wasn't the best I can't help but cringe thinking about SJP's I Don't Know How She Does It film. Will this lifestyle continue? Let's hope not!

I multitask from the second I wake up, anxiously grabbing my iPhone to view my schedule for the day, scan email for anything serious and check the weather. I look at the shuttle schedule on my phone as I walk down to my car. On the shuttle I read through and delete emails that do not require attention or responses so that when I get to my office I don't have to spend the time to do this. I read The Gamecock while I have my coffee and then while I work I look at tweets popping up from news sources I need to follow for my Trends in Higher Education class. Throughout all of this I typically have a few Gchats open with friends and co-workers. 

Then it's off to class where while I try to pay attention and many times end up creating to-do lists for that night, the next day, the rest of the week, etc. When I get home I am reading for class the next day while on the elliptical, doing homework while catching up with my roommate and cleaning my room and getting ready for bed while talking to my significant other. Check the iPhone for any pertinent emails, check the next day's weather, set my alarm, go to bed. Repeat.

While I want to try and break this habit I'm not quite sure I could keep crossing off my to-do list and efficiently manage my time without it. The tasks I'm able to accomplish through multitasking give me extra time for the personal tasks in my life. For trying to remember to call my mom once a week, keeping in touch with good friends (which at this point in life includes quite a few people), and maintaining a healthy distance relationship. Oh yea then if there's a few minutes of extra time I enjoy blankly staring at my wall while listening to music or vegging out in front of Family Guy for a fun non-engaging activity.

My new personal challenge is to cut down on the multitasking. Get everything done, but don't act like a chicken with my head cut off. I know there's got to be some way that's possible. If not luckily hooding is six months and ten days away, not that I'm counting...

Side note: I know there has to be someone thinking how I could spend the time to write this novel of a post when I have soooo many other things to do? Probably because it's the first personal thing I've done today. In my challenge to stay sane my mantra is "Do one thing every day that makes you happy." Today, blogging is my happy. 

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I know exactly how you feel!!