Recently, when working on my computer, it feels like it takes me too long to accomplish what I set out to do in a day. Now I can accept, as I get older that physical tasks will take longer. But intellectual tasks!?! Hmmm—slowing down at those is difficult to accept. After all Judi Dench is still making movies with macular degeneration no less. And Maggie Smith — she’s like the Energizer Bunny—movies, TV series. Hey, I’m way younger than either of them, so what’s going on?
Then I was reviewing information on the adolescent brain and reading about multi-taking. Did you know that the concept of multi-tasking is a myth? Some like to say that younger people’s brains are wired differently than our Boomer brains and that’s why they can multitask. Well, it’s true our grand-children’s brains are wired differently than ours. But according to John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist who wrote Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School, all of our brains are wired in unique ways! Everyone’s brain configuration develops differently depending on experiences, culture, and health. Furthermore, he and multiple other neuro-scientists state emphatically that multitasking in impossibility.
So no…younger folks do not multi-task better than Boomers—no one multi-tasks. We serial-task. Well, I’ve done that all my life, even before the digital revolution. However, my computer offers so many more fun and interesting opportunities to serial task. While writing this blog, I decided to see if an email that I am waiting for came in and then I thought…I’ll just take a moment to check Facebook. Clicked on a piece about Bernie and Hillary responding to the Flint water crisis, and then I thought I would sneak a peek at what Diane Ravitch was thinking about in her blog. Turns out legislators in Connecticut are working on a way to wrest control of local schools away from their communities. 20 minutes later, I got back to writing this piece. So, my serial tasking did add time to this project, but I discovered that neither Bernie or Hillary are as adamant as I would like them to be about quickly ensuring safe water for all.
So maybe I’m not slowing down at all but continue to fall prey to the compulsion to check out what going on around me. Of course now, around me means anywhere in the world that my computer or iPad can take me. I’m pretty sure that curiosity is not a bad thing; I just need to stop beating up on myself for having an inquiring mind. I always get my work done, just not in the mode that efficiency experts recommend. Efficiency is over rated—enjoy serial tasking!
Brain research is fascinating. Here are a couple sites you might enjoy! I’m off to read a bit on my Fit Desk after I check my email one more time and maybe the Huffington Post….