The ego is behind multitasking. What is it that is trying to get so much done? What is it that feels there is so much to get done? What is it that pushes you to do more and more and do it more quickly, more efficiently, and to get it done as soon as possible? What is it that feels there isn’t enough time (the mind’s own construct) in a day for everything you “have” to do?
What this is, is the ego, which is reflected in the voice in your head. It is, at its root, a voice of fear: “Terrible things will happen if you don’t get it all done and do it right!” Or the voice may promise a reward: “When you get it all done, then you’ll be happy and feel good (not before then).” Whether the mind prods you with fear or with the hope of happiness or success, this voice is the generator of stress.
The truth is, you can only do one thing at a time. So how stressful can that be? It’s easy to do one thing at a time, no matter what it is. Even if it’s brain surgery, you’re only making one movement at a time. What’s stressful and therefore what makes something difficult is thinking about everything you have to do while you’re doing something, worrying about what needs to be done, trying to conform to the ego’s arbitrary deadlines, and trying to do too many things at once (multitasking).
Since the mind can only give attention to one thing at a time, moving back and forth quickly between a number of tasks, or even just two, isn’t necessarily more efficient, and it often results in mistakes or a job less well done. Even when multitasking is more efficient, and there are times when it is, is the stress involved in trying to keep track of a number of things at once and trying to get them done quickly worth it?
What’s more important — getting things done as fast as you can or experiencing what you are doing, being connected to it, and enjoying it while you are getting it done, because that’s what happens when you take time to be present to what you are doing?
The trouble with doing a number of things at once is that we usually aren’t fully present to any one of those things, we’re hurrying, and we aren’t enjoying ourselves. When you slow down and are fully present to whatever you are doing, a natural enjoyment arises. More importantly, perhaps, a wisdom about how to do whatever you’re doing and even whether it’s worth doing has a chance to register within you.
When we allow the egoic mind to run our activities, we end up feeling like a machine: soul-less and joyless. You can be a machine if you want, but is that how you want to live your life? There is another choice, and that is to slow down, be present, notice what’s arising to be done, do it, and move on to the next thing that arises to be done.
This isn’t in keeping with the business model, but the way the corporate world runs isn’t a healthy model for how to run our lives. We’ve seen what this mentality has done to our environment. When profit is your god, then Life is not honored. When you allow your mind to be your master, you lose your soul, your juice, your joie de vivre. Multitasking is the result of an egoic mind that is not reined in, a mind that has been allowed to run amok, a mind that is driven by fear, lack, and desire.
The antidote to such an egoic mind is noticing the result of multitasking in your body and in your spirit. If you are feeling contracted, stressed, or unhappy, then change how you do things until you’re enjoying life once again. You don’t have to be a slave to your egoic mind or to other people’s egoic minds. On the other hand, if you can multitask with joy, then have at it! You are responsible for the quality of your life. Only you can choose whether you will enjoy life or not.
~ by Gina Lake, from her Blog