Something scary recently happened to me. I discovered the dangers of multitasking firsthand… and it was downright petrifying.
We all hear that multitasking isn’t the best thing ever to do. And yet, an Ohio State University study found that multitasking is more popular than ever – despite its evil side effects of reducing productivity and efficiency. I thought that study only really applied to kids who did their homework while watching TV. When I watch TV, I read obscure news and fun stories online, paint my nails, do laundry-esque things. Honestly, different! No grades involved. See!
But I found out the hard way that my electronic multitasking was my enemy this weekend when I turned on “Flipping Out” - my fav reno-freakout show on the planet. And got excited because I thought it was a new episode. Bravo party! I was about to celebrate with a big bowl of Pringles and Diet Coke but as I was watching it, flashes were familiar! Wait a minute…. wait just a minute…. To my honest horror, I discovered it was the exact episode I watched 4 days earlier - while I was playing on my laptop! What the heck! There must have been quite some obscure and fun online news that distracted me when I originally watched it, because I soon realized that I had missed the crux of the episode – where Jeff’s partner, Gage, reacts to the shocking news that Jeff has flipped the dream house they were building to start a family - and they now have to move into Spring Oak. (That’s a nice house, but it’s no Gramercy aka dream house. You should see the bathroom finishes.)
What other huge moments have I missed from “Flipping Out” and beyond?! And I don’t have Tivo, so there’s no going back! How could I have been so reckless?
An even scarier thought? I don’t just multitask while I watch TV, sometimes I do it while reading the news! Noooo! I listen to Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” about 100 times while reading economist.com and wsj.com. Is Taylor Swift background music preventing me from digesting economic policies? Do I really understand the Dodd-Frank act? Can I summarize it without reciting random Taylor lyrics? ‘Tis be a cliffhanger!
It’s been nearly one week since the “incident,” and I now appreciate that you can only focus on one thing at a time for it to be effective. Ohio State University researchers, you were right! Multitasking is no joke!
And I really hope you weren’t listening to Taylor Swift while reading this.