Monday, July 24, 2006

The Myth of Multi-Tasking

Isn't this a beautiful setting? This is the view from my incredible room at the Westward Look Resort in Tucson, Arizona where I'm spending 7 days working on my doctorate. But I have to admit - I brought more to do with me than my studies. I brought the current book I'm writing, my editorial work for the magazine I edit, and two books I'm reading that I need to write reviews for. But I believe I'm good at doing many things at one time - in fact I thrive on it.

And yet, the desert landscape beckons, and my fellow students engage me in philosophical debate and discussion. I bask in both their company and the hot, dry heat of an Arizona summer and feel very much "in my element." Is there really a way to accomplish all that I must here in this temporary sanctuary, or should I just admit defeat?

My often wise mother once told me that I could indeed do it all, just not all at the same time. I truly desire to be focused on one thing at a time because I fear that I won't give each the attention they need and deserve. Like children vying for my attention, the many jobs I hold to try to create one solid income follow me through the house relentlessly. The bathroom isn't even a safe place since I've stashed reading material in there as well.

But here, in this place, I can choose to let the rest of my life fall away temporarily and receive a much needed shot of motivation that will give me the boost of adrenaline I so desperately need. I can rest here, if I so choose.

Multi-tasking works well for computers, not always for people, and even computers crash when our demands overwhelm them. How will we ever enjoy the journeys we're on if we don't stop every once in a while to enjoy a scenic overlook? I'm stopping this week. I'll get back on the road 6 days from now.

I know you also can do it all - just don't try to do it all right this minute. Claim the rest that's waiting just for you.