Have you ever thought about the effects of multitasking?
We’ve all jumped through hoops with the intention of trying to convince an interviewer that we’re fully able to do multiple tasks at the same time. The idea of the busy secretary who responds to the phone, writes an email with one hand and paints her toenails with the other, while nodding on the person searching for a sense of confirmation from her… comes to mind.
Although this might seem like it’s a highly productive and seemingly attractive capacity to have, multitasking actually isn’t related to productivity or any sense of deep meaningful work. Instead, maintaining an array of superficial and even meaningless tasks – or in other words maintaining like a traffic warden the ongoing cars who’ve already gathered momentum – but in no way creating momentum for the tasks to arrive at their successful completion.
A multitasker is then translated as a traffic warden of tasks. Never initiating them, never completing them, but simply witnessing them arriving, and allowing them to go in the right direction. But that’s about it.
If you decide to get away from multi-tasking jobs, you’ll quickly arrive at the conclusion that to be a self-starter, a deep worker, a race winner – and the list can go on ad infinitum…- we’ll need to rewire our entire mental blueprint away from witnessing and orientating towards creating, innovating, rendering, refining, and shipping our process and our product. Which is an entirely different kettle of fish.
Though the idea that we can convert ourselves toward a different type of blueprint and applying our effort to a different type of work and career is interesting in its self. Something else lingers in the background…
The patterns created around multi-tasking, the patterns gathered around social-media and 1 second attention span swiping. Take away the social media and the “1 second and on to the next” pattern continues to live within us and accompanies us through pretty much any other task. The subtle discomfort of staying even a fraction too long doing something specific and immediately moving on towards yet another dopamine hit as the pain pleasure pattern is triggered is an all too vivid problem.
Pain = discomfort = being present doing anything for too long = the fear of missing out on the next thing
Pleasure = comfort = discovering something New (our brain thrives on discovery) = keeping tabs on the next task…
Problem = associating pain to staying with one task from start to finish = never finishing anything = ill performed tasks
Result = poor quality return on effort = diminishing quality of life = vicious spiral which pushes us towards more pleasure.
Repeat as many times as you can until your battery wears out.
So then what? Turn the phone off. Meditate. Focus on one specific task with one specific outcome and stick with it until done. But, but but… No buts. Do it!
I observed the weakened quality of my efforts a while back while working out. As soon as a pain threshold came up, I automatically stood up and sought out another action, something else to do.
As if starting another task would give me a soothing dopamine hit. As if giving up on my ab crunches would make a difference. Sure the burn would stop for the time being, but the long term effect is that
I’d be some fat slob who gives up as soon as pain arises.
As I grew up with values, and came to understand the value of hard work especially around physical training, the difference between my peak performance years being one of the top strikers on the soccer team was contrasted with my current mental circumstance. Where training and pushing through pain barriers, repeating actions over and over until near perfect created the effect of greatness and physical prowess which I so enjoyed before social media taking over; now I was faced with a diminished work capacity and a lingering question ‘what the fuck? ‘.
Upon recognising this trait, I grounded myself, relaxed my body and kept at my specific pattern of weights, and pushed through the burning sensations. Simply upon knowing that my previous patterns had led me to being at a greater pattern when younger, and that somewhere along the journey I’d deconstructed my patterns in order to fix some underlining perception and beliefs which would create a better foundation for me to build upon; it was enough to calibrate my broken mindset.
–Stick with it and create a healthy habit around going through the ups and downs of a process.
-Cut off from social media dependency and get back to real life.
–Stop seeking external validation.
-Build a pattern within yourself, so strong that nothing external can shift you.
-Believe in yourself.
-Comprehend second order consequences and stop seeking first order benefits.
-Love yourself enough to see that investing time in yourself is not missing out, it’s the only thing that matters.
“Opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” – Richard Branson.
Get intertwined in the process and enjoy what you do.
While the world may pass us by for the time being and it seems that we’re missing out, reminding ourself that our boat won’t leave without us and we can only go at your own rhythm. Our scrolling won’t make the world come to an end, let alone make it any better, in fact us not scrolling and bettering ourselves is the only way we can make the world better.
Do yourself a favour and everyone else and better your life, rather than striving to keep up with unknown individuals who couldn’t care less if you succeed or fail. Chances are, they won’t even notice that you’re gone…
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