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Mindfulness & Multitasking

What is wrong with being multitasking and what mindfulness practice can do?

Mindfulness has become popular over the last decades. This single ancient word is currently a regular part of the daily western colloquialism.

Why did it become so popular?

The origin can be discovered along the changes the western society has been facing. Life style developed requirements that are transforming people into multitasking androids. This change may sound like interesting, if we observe it from the business perspective. A single person can handle several tasks and make sure all of them are completed in a time manner although the person is physically and psychologically burning out. People usually feel like flattered when they receive compliments for their job, a hand shake and (if they are lucky) a bonus for what they have achieved for their company.

“Good job, man” or “I knew you could do it”

Just few examples.

Is multitasking behavior an answer?

Why do I have to be multitasking to have a value?

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Mankind ain’t meant to be multitasking. This is a modern requirement with consequences on long term. At that moment the world got access to infinite information at the same time, the human being found itself in the condition of desiring the acquisition of enormous quantity of data on a short term. Our attention has suffered at the same time by then. By performing a series of different actions and at the same time, our ability to concentrate is clearly reduced.

Quoting Héctor García and Francesc Miralles in Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, Ikigai and Multitasking are a sort of black and white.

The authors consider the ability to be multitasking as one of the major obstacles of our century.

“We’re listening to a video on YouTube while writing an e-mail, when suddenly a chat pops up and we answer it. Then our smartphone vibrates in our pocket; just as soon as we respond to that message, we’re back at our computer, logging on to Facebook. Pretty soon thirty minutes have passed, and we’ve forgotten what the e-mail we were writing was supposed to be about”

Héctor García e Francesc Miralles in Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life (2017)

Scientific researches led to the conclusion that the combination of different activities, does not lead to time saving but to opposite result.

We are talking about a reduction of about 60% in productivity, including a reduction of our IQ.

This is because what we are really doing is not completing a series of activities at the same time, but rather jumping from one activity to another, back and forth, without ever really focusing on one of them and completing it. Mindfulness come into our life pursuing a simple but amazing goal: It is the act of focusing on being in the present. For example, on being completely focused on drinking a hot cup of tea and removing overpowering emotions from the mind.

Simone Santarelli

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