I’m in a hurry but going nowhere fast! The fallacy of Multi-tasking!

“The more I’m in a hurry, the more I tend to worry.”  I remember these lyrics from a song many years ago.  The more I’m in a hurry, the more I tend to worry.  This makes a lot of sense if you think about it. When you try to go fast, you frequently end up putting things in the wrong place or forgetting to do something.  For the past few years, multi-tasking has been pushed as a sort of panacea to our productivity and economic problems. If we could all learn to do things faster and to do several things at one time, we would be more efficient and productive.  We could then compete better in the global market place.  I hope I do not have a surprise for you if I tell you that “lack of multi-tasking” skills is not the cause of our present economic problems.  Lack of innovation has more to do with it than lack of skills. 
Recent research confirms my opinion.  The more we do, the dumber we do things. We do not concentrate and do an effective job when we try to do several things at one time.  We don’t watch TV and write well. We don’t play cards and monitor our children well and we do not drive and talk on cell phones well. We are also not very innovative when we are focused on how much we need to do or how fast we need to do things.  We all know these facts from our own experiences.   Then why don’t we give up this mania that seems to afflict us with multi-tasking and doing things faster, faster, faster.  I remember Keith Code from the California Superbike School when I took his 3 day course in cornering.  He kept advising us over and over “You have to learn to go slow before you can go fast.”  Hardly any of us on the race course at Road America wanted to hear the word “slow.”  We bought our superbikes to go fast not slow.  It took several years for Keith’s message to sink in.  I have learned in the interim that it applies to swimming and skiing as well.  I am sure it applies to many other aspects of our lives. You can probably think of some.  I would love to hear your lessons. Feel free to add your experiences in my comments section.
I have realized that when my pace speeds up and when I get going really fast, I am more worried that I will forget something or do something wrong. Generally, I am right. Going too fast, results in mistakes and doing things over. How many times in the morning when I am getting ready for work, do I end up walking back up my stairs because I forgot my phone or something else? The moral here should be that if we slow down, we will have less worry in our lives. At least, there might be some opportunities for less worry.  Slowing down will not reduce all the worries in your life, but if speed kills, then you will have dying sooner as one less worry.  Think of the deaths on the highways that could be prevented by less hurrying and taking life a little bit slower.  Not only would you get there in one piece but the drive would be a great deal less stressful.  You might even start finding things to be more fun.
Are you a freeway speed demon?  Are you worried about getting to work on time?  Would it help you to worry less, if you could take more time to do things? What is one thing you can do more slowly today? Try it and see if at the end of the week you do not feel less stressed.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

    Feb 16, 2012 @ 18:55:20

    Great article!! Reminds me of the old expression, “Haste makes Waste”. The older I get, the more I find myself slowing down, naturally. Am I more productive??? Maybe. I do know that for sure. I do know that I am more careful on the highways and biways!! Far from a freeway speed demon, but I guess I never was much for speeding. Bye for now, and have a great day. Looking forward to tomorrow's Reflections on Time!!



  2. John Persico
    Feb 16, 2012 @ 22:46:13

    Good, you will live longer and have less worries Jeanine.



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