Handling things one at a time? Or trying to do it all at once?

By Dr Gary Latest Activity October 6, 2015 at 9:28 pm Views 1,378 Replies 1

Dr Gary

When is the last time you bragged about what a good multitasker you are? Or heard someone else bragging about their ability to multitask?

When we multitask, we are essentially doing multiple tasks at the same time. Here are some examples of multitasking: Talking on the phone and surfing the web. Helping your child with his/her homework while you make dinner. Catching up on emails while you watch TV.

Let me ask you a question: Is multitasking good for your health?

Because our brains aren’t designed for all that multitasking, there are some downsides. For example, what you accomplish while you are multitasking may not be as high in quality as it would have been had you been more focused. Ever had a meal not turn out so great because you weren’t focused? Or something you were completing at work? (And let’s not even get started on texting and driving.)

And don’t forget that multitasking can lead to stress, which can have a negative impact on your wellness.

Here’s what else concerns me about multitasking and my clients living with chronic conditions. In my experience, these individuals all too often place additional pressure on themselves to multitask. They feel like they have to prove to others – and to themselves – that they can keep up with the many competing demands of their life. That they are still “normal.” It’s sad to watch these clients pushing themselves so hard and, in the process, placing their wellness at risk. This can also be a form of denial: Keep pushing and the chronic condition will just give up and go away.

It is even more sad that some of these individuals have family members, including their partners, who are also placing them under pressure to stay on the treadmill.

Here’s a link to an article I posted awhile back on how to get off the multitasking treadmill:

http://www.breastcancerconnect.com/breast-can...

How do you avoid overcommitting and overextending yourself? And if you are a reformed over-multitasker, what made you decide to let up on yourself?

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