Multi-Tasking is a Dangerous Myth

by Judy Baker on April 18, 2012

I nearly incinerated my kitchen the other evening. I was tired and hungry. I had one more task to complete before I stopped working for the night. I thought I would save a bit of time and heat up some soup while I worked.


I am famous around my house for blackening pots and pans due to my ability to get focused on my work, while the kitchen goes up in smoke. I have burned beets (a very nasty smell), blackened brand new pans, killed tea kettles by melting them, guess you would say I have a black thumb when it comes to cooking. Most of the time this is not an issue, as my husband is the cook in the family. So when I occasionally go into the cooking mode, I need to be sure I use a timer with a very loud alarm to wake me from my reverie and interrupt my concentration so I redirect my attention to the kitchen, the fire under the food and avert any potential disasters.

When I focus on a task, without distractions, my brain is fully engaged and works faster than when my attention is split.I can get more done, when I work in sequence, instead of trying to do too much simultaneously.

Give the uni-tasking method a try. I think you will enjoy what you are doing, be in the moment and have less likelihood of repeating my flammable mishaps.

Safety studies have shown that when we talk on the phone at the same time, our brains are 35% less efficient. That loss of attention could prove fatal to you or others.

Put down the phone, yes, even if you are using a headset or speaker, when you are driving. Focus on what you are doing there, and elsewhere in your life. You’ll have less stress, get more done, and enjoy the journey.You’ll be more productive.

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