According to Dictionary.com, multitasking is defined as:
|1.||computing the execution of various diverse tasks simultaneously|
|2.||the carrying out of two or more tasks at the same time by one person|
Unless you’re a computer (as in example 1 above) this is nearly impossible. Doing two things or more at once is exhausting…there’s a reason most people can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.
As a work at home mom, it is easy to think you can multitask with no problem. You can have a load of laundry in the washer and one in the dryer, while you vacuum and take care of the kids. Oh and you need to read one more email while the kids are yelling because they are hungry.
While it’s not easy to only do one thing at a time, it is well worth the effort. Giving yourself permission to focus on one thing will be a liberating experience. Let me explain…
It’s exhausting to do more than one thing at a time. You get frustrated because you get side tracked. When you stop to think about it, do you ever really “complete” anything you set out to do? Probably not.
When I had a corporate job, “multitasking” was the coveted adjective people used to describe someone who was hard working, got a lot done and was a role model. Now, however, I see how flawed that perception really is because multitasking does not equal accomplishments.
The other “problem” with multitasking is the guilt. How many times have you said one of the following:
- “Let mommy answer one more email and then I’ll get you some milk.”
- “Mommy can’t play right now because she has to finish a project.”
- “Don’t bother mommy when she’s on the phone.”
If you’ve ever said this to your child, it is probably immediately followed by the sting of guilt. Something along the lines of, “I can’t believe I just said that! I’m a work at home mom so I can be with my kids!”
By giving yourself permission to focus on only one thing at a time, you are ensuring yourself and your children that you will be 100% committed to the task at hand. That means when it’s time to work, you work. But when it’s time to play or spend time with your children that is your one and only focus. Giving your children undivided attention goes a long way to avoid the challenges of them competing for your attention.
There is a secondary benefit to stop the insanity of multitasking and that is inner peace and calmness. When you are able to do one thing at a time you are able to relax more and enjoy the process. While I admit doing the laundry is not an enjoyable task, it’s nice to know that’s the only thing I have to do at that moment.
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