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Kevin Nixon : Incessant Multitasking Interferes with Creativity

Incessant Multitasking Interferes with Creativity

By Kevin Nixon

I don't know who came up with this concept of incessant multitasking, but I can assure you it does not work, at least not in the long run. You eventually wear yourself out mentally, physically and spiritually.

Short-term multitasking may have some benefits, but the longer it persists the more it becomes counterproductive. Very often it becomes an exercise wherein one is simply throwing a lot of energy at many projects, which in the long run takes more time to complete them all; than it would have taken had you concentrated on one project at a time. It looks good but quite frankly it's a pain in the gluteus. In time, one begins to flit about between projects, never really settling anywhere long enough to get a solid footing. You wind up being as they say, "A Jack of all trades and a Master of None."

Very often, the creative amongst us get caught up in trying to do everything at once. We habitually make To Do list which because of our flitting about from one project to the next, we rarely are able to complete, in the time we set for completion.

Again, I don't know where this craze started but I can imagine that it was with someone or a group of someone's with a "Terminator" [from the movie The Terminator] mentality, who thought that human beings could function like machines. Yet no where on a human being is there a calculate button, or a send button, or a backspace button. We need time to execute.

Maybe is was noble of us to believe that man's mind had "evolved" to the point of being able to function in the same capacity as a computer or maybe it was a sinister plot to make man like a machine in his behavior, thoughts and actions, to transform him into a thing that is programmed, a program from which he or she never diverts, to make him as the Borg of Star Trek:The Next Generation fame, assimilated.

But I digress; so back to the subject at hand.

While it is true that human beings find comfort in that which is familiar, it is also true that we quickly tire of familiarity. We do like variety. And by variety, I do not mean being stuck in a continuous loop of re-prioritization. First project A is an emergency. Now project B is an emergency so A gets put to the back of the rotation; still, it never goes away. Soon enough, project C takes the place of project B, but wait; project B wasn't completed.

Multitasking has the appearance of variety and in some cases it lives up to its appearance. But all too often it leaves in its wake the remnants of half hearted pursuits. And I believe that human beings do not like to revisit the same things over and over again. I believe that we gain more satisfaction from a job well done when we put issues to bed, so to speak. I think we prefer to initiate, complete our projects and then move on to the next thing.

They say that insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. It can also drive you insane to see snippets of unfinished work in June from a project you started in January. It's enough to make you want to scream, "Can I clear this cold case, please!!" •

© 2011 Kevin Nixon. All rights reserved.

Kevin NixonKevin Nixon is an author, speaker, and healer, specializing in the ancient healing modality know as Reiki. Kevin currently conducts creativity workshops and healing sessions in the Metro Atlanta area. More »