Uni tasking

I read a great article in the Guardian on Saturday by A J Jacobs as he attempted to become a ‘uni-tasker’ in response to the inefficient overload of multitasking.
Jacobs pic from article.jpg“Our hopscotching brains make us more depressed (it’s harder to focus on the positive), less able to connect with people and form a conscience. And it’s an insane delusion. Multitasking makes us feel efficient, but it actually slows down our thinking. Our brains can’t handle more than one higher cognitive function at a time. We may think we’re multitasking, but in fact we’re switchtasking, toggling between one task and another. The phone, the email, the phone, back to the email. And each time you switch, there’s a few milliseconds of start-up cost. The neurons need time to rev up”
It’s a great piece, very funny BUT seriously exploring the cultural norm’ of multitasking. What is really surprising is that the forays into ‘unitasking’ seem to have a spiritual balance about them, the experiment has something to say about the contemplative life even though it’s not written in that vein.
It left me with both a smile and a sense of ‘ouch’, as well as a huge challenge about the arenas where I multitask, and a feeling of how much ‘multitasking’ is at odds with, or at least in tension with, a spiritual life.
The article is here (do have a read BUT not while you are doing something else!)

One Reply to “Uni tasking”

  1. He’s the guy who wrote “The Year Of Living Biblically”, an attempt to live by all the commands of the old & new testaments. Great fun and some great insights.

Comments are closed.