I have wanted to talk about addiction, fixation, and their relation with disengagement for a while, but my first attempt turned into a post taking about how to multitask more efficiently instead. I guess the saying about the words forming its own course is true. Nevertheless, here’s my second attempt, and I have broaden the scope of the topic from disengagement to mindfulness. Let’s hope this time it stayed true to its intended course – not that I don’t enjoy a detour every now and then 😉
As an avid gamer, I am no stranger towards getting addicted to a certain game and would play on for hours until I have wrapped up loose ends (read: sub-quests) or progressed through a major plotline (read: checkpoint). Fortunately for me, it’s no physical addiction, so I won’t have to deal with relapses, and could choose to simply not to game if something urgent and important is seen on the horizon. Nonetheless, getting addicted is disruptive to my life. My schedule would be messed up, and I have to find extra time and effort to keep everything up to schedule. That is not healthy. It could and would cut into my precious time that I could spend with my family and friends, on recreational activities, my other hobbies, or even worse, on my sleep time.
According to this research, our minds are not well suited to multitask; rather, we switch our attention from one task to another so well that we think we are paying attention to multiple things at once. That in itself is good for us, as the things we wanted to do are seemingly never ending and there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to pull them all off. So, being able to handle and complete multiple tasks are better than just focusing on a single task, right? Well, to a certain extent that is true – until we bit off more than we can chew, then things could get nasty.
Fortunately, there are ways to increase your capability to ‘multitask’ while still maintaining efficiency in each individual task. But, a word of caution before we move on further: despite the fluency we can switch our attention from one task to another, trying to multitasks means your attention will get spread out, your task effectiveness will likely be reduced, and you are more prone to mistakes. So, when you’re faced with multiple tasks at hand, dealing with them one at a time is going to save you a lot of trouble, and at the end of the day, probably more efficient too. Nevertheless, for those of you who would like to try, here’s three ways to multitasks more efficiently.