The Multitasking Myth

This may surprise you, but recent research indicates that human beings can’t multitask. In fact, I would go so far as to say that multitasking is a myth!

So what about those who claim to be great multitaskers?  I think it would be more accurate to call them, multiswitchers!

MP900341390[1] Our brains can process many different things at once. Just going for a walk requires an incredible level of coordination between different sensory and muscular systems. But when it comes to attention, our brain appears  to prefer one thing at a time.

This makes perfect sense to me because I get easily frustrated trying to do two or three things at once. I like to finish one thing, and then move onto the next.MC900198208

Those known for their multitasking abilities are really not doing two things at once. They are quickly switching attention back and forth between tasks. Their quick switching gives them the illusion of doing two or things at once.

Quick switchers are generally quite productive. They can do more in less time. That’s great, but there is a problem. Quickly switching attention sometimes means information is missed or lost. So I may be cooking dinner while talking on the phone and watching the news. It is likely that I will miss something in the conversation I am having, burn some food or miss an important headline.

Of course missing a few words of a conversation or a news report isn’t necessarily a big problem. But when it comes to our time with God, multitasking could keep us from getting all that God wants to give.

The more our attention is divided, the more switching that has to occur, the less depth and breadth we can get from our experience. I don’t know about you, but when I am praying, reading the Bible, worshipping or just meditating, I want to get everything I can out of the experience. I want to have God’s truth fill my mind. I want the presence of God to fill my heart. I want the peace that passes all understanding to permeate my being. I want it all!MP900422324[1]

What brain science is telling us is that if we want it all, we must give our  all. We have to fully focus our attention. Then our faith will become more real, our walk with Jesus closer, and our understanding of God’s will for our lives more clear!

There is nothing wrong with multitasking or mutiswitching. But when it comes to our faith, let’s set other things aside and give God everything we have to give!

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