Sunday, September 27, 2009

Brain Drain


photo from Racine Journal Times, Sunday, September 27, 2009

My mom periodically emails me interesting articles that she comes across that she thinks are blog worthy. This week she sent me an article by Ellen Goodwin from Press Telegram which discusses multi-tasking and how those who do the most multi-tasking get poorer results on everything. So I piggy- back Ms. Goodwin's article with this article in our local paper today compliments of the AP titled "Brian overload: Pay attention multitaskers, if you can; study finds you're more easily distracted."

The former psychology major in me is fascinated by this. I've always thought of myself as a great multitasker, and why not? It was en grained as an invaluable trait when I went though loads of corporate training for Bank of America. It's something that has been looked for as a plus when listed on a resume. It is what's expected, isn't it?

In reading these two articles, I realize, I'm not a great multitasker (I can't focus 100% on watching TV while I text or surf the net). In fact I've been known to read in a room where there's music or television going, because it helps me to better focus when I actively block something else out.

So I wonder if what I've perceived in myself as multitasking is really being an expert prioritizor. Managing multile tasks, prioritizing, completing and moving on in such a way that everything flows with ease, and gets completed in its entirety.

The concern is the implications for our children, this plugged in generation that routinely thinks texting while going 70 on the highway is appropriate. I'm a deadline producer, quick efficient worker, and expert prioritizor who can wash dishes or cook while talking on the phone. So I think I'll teach my kids to prioritize to achieve, yet multitask where results aren't expected or safety isn't compromised.

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