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5 Ways Multi-Tasking Is Hurting You

And how to quit this dirty habit!

5 Reasons Why Multi-Tasking Is Hurting You - www.flowertherapies.com
The true cost of multi-tasking

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

There are many areas of our lives where the above phrase holds true, but none more than where multi-tasking is concerned.

In fact, it shouldn’t even be called multi-tasking; a better name would be, ‘doing little bits of everything alternately, usually in an unconscious state’. Or as an article on Psychology Today cleverly coined it, ‘task-switching’.

Just to be clear, when I write of multi-tasking, I mean anything that involves putting you in two minds. For instance, do you ever:

  • Answer a phone and continue typing an email?
  • Stir a pot on the stove with one hand, while sending off a text on your mobile phone with the other hand?
  • Read a book, while glancing up occasionally to watch the TV?

Then, indeed you are familiar with this modern-day scourge, and perhaps don’t even realise how often you do it!

Women have been typically proven more adept at this modern-day ‘skill’, with most studies indicating the female brain has a greater capacity than the male brain for alternating between multiple tasks at the same time.

Multi-tasking is like juggling: which ball is going to fall first?
Multi-tasking is like juggling: which ball is going to fall first?

But while you could certainly consider multi-tasking highly beneficial in the case of an emergency or urgent situation, when used consistently it will instead prove damaging to your health as well as your efficiency. Many health care practitioners are suggesting it could be a major cause of fatigue, mental distraction, over-extension and therefore injury to the mind.

Multi-tasking is in reality inefficient and many times downright dangerous: a 2011 Australian government survey found that 59% of Australian drivers reported using their mobile phone while driving; with mobile phone calls, texting and other distractions responsible for more than a third of the 270 fatal car accidents in Queensland in the 2012 financial year.

So, how can you tell if it is affecting your life? Ask yourself, are you becoming increasingly:

  1. Distracted (do you tend to jump from task to task when working and after many hours of work, you have little to show for it?);
  2. Forgetful (do you sit down to do one thing, and realise half an hour later you are browsing Facebook or reading emails instead?);
  3. Disconnected from others (do you find yourself texting when at dinner or connecting more online than in person?);
  4. Anxious (do you have trouble shutting your mind off at night, worrying about everything that you read that day or have to do tomorrow?);
  5. Mentally fragmented (do you have trouble completing your thoughts, feeling a little bit like there is a rave party up there, and excessively overwhelmed by everything, which is stressing you out immensely).

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, there’s a good chance multi-tasking is robbing you of your life and your energy.

I can personally attest to the fact that I felt proud for many years of my strong ability to concurrently; (a) hand someone a phone message, while; (b) juggling a phone between my ear and shoulder; (c) typing something into the computer; (d) reaching over to file a document in the cabinet awkwardly in-between typing, and; (e) glancing up to acknowledge someone waiting at my office door. But after many, many years of doing this, I can honestly say it has resulted in the manifestation of all five of the above effects and a realisation that these habits have to change for my future well-being.

So are you ready to reclaim:

  • The personal satisfaction that comes from doing one thing at a time and doing it right?
  • Being single-minded in your approach to each task until it is finished (turning your phone off or taking it off the hook, and ignoring emails until your next scheduled time)?
  • Your time – by scheduling times in your day for checking emails and Facebook, and setting a timer so you control usage?
  • The real taste of food when you eat consciously and without doing something else?
  • And, the complete satisfaction of being completely present with your loved ones?

If so, I have found the following Australian Bush Flower Essences useful:

Jacaranda - © 2012 Clare Chapman www.flowertherapies.com
Jacaranda Flowers – photograph by Clare Chapman http://www.flowertherapies.com

Jacaranda Bush Flower Essence (above) is a brilliant remedy for grasping the concept that ‘one thing at a time’ is the way our Spirit wants us to work (yes, our Spirit – because our ego is telling us that the more balls we can juggle, the more amazing we are!). Jacaranda also helps if you get easily distracted when you are sitting down to work or work in a busy office with lots going on around you and have trouble focusing.

"Eucalyptus macrocarpa x pyriformis KP gnangarra-10" by Photographs by Gnangarra...commons.wikimedia.org. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 au via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eucalyptus_macrocarpa_x_pyriformis_KP_gnangarra-10.jpg#/media/File:Eucalyptus_macrocarpa_x_pyriformis_KP_gnangarra-10.jpg
Macrocarpa – photograph by Gnangarra…commons.wikimedia.org

Macrocarpa Bush Flower Essence (above) has often taught me that I need to literally drop myself into bed before I collapse from exhaustion. Multi-tasking is exhausting and stressful and therefore can contribute to adrenal exhaustion if not kept in check. Macrocarpa is a strict teacher, with its main lesson being, ‘take care of your energy when awake and use it consciously, but then you must sleep when you need to!’

Dog Rose of the Wild Forces - image from http://tfbush.blogspot.com.au/2008/12/dog-rose-of-wild-forces.html.
Dog Rose of the Wild Forces Flowers – image from http://tfbush.blogspot.com.au/2008/12/dog-rose-of-wild-forces.html.

Dog Rose of the Wild Forces Bush Flower Essence (above) is a really helpful remedy for when you are feeling fragmented and on edge by the constant demands, regular interruptions and erratic energies of others which can upset your own inner peace, and therefore your outward performance. It helps you find peace of mind, so you can stay true to your own routine.

Old Man Banksia
Old Man Banksia Flowers – photograph by Gnangarra…commons.wikimedia.org

Old Man Banksia Bush Flower Essence (above) – is very helpful if you are having trouble maintaining strong boundaries with others. Perhaps others are demanding your time, pushing you to work on two projects at once or imposing unrealistic deadlines on you – encouraging that nasty multi-tasking habit? I’ve found this flower essence very helpful for speaking up for your own time, and your own well-being.

Sundew Flower - photographed by Clare Chapman www.flowertherapies.com
Sundew Flower – photographed by Clare Chapman http://www.flowertherapies.com

Sundew Bush Flower Essence (above) is a perfect choice for helping you to remain conscious in what you are doing. It is very helpful for remaining completely present, in the moment and maintaining a single focus to achieve your daily goals in a manageable way.

Boronia Flowers - photographed by Clare Chapman www.flowertherapies.com
Boronia Flowers – photographed by Clare Chapman http://www.flowertherapies.com

And finally, Boronia Bush Flower Essence (above) is the perfect flower remedy for helping you remove yourself from the chaos of your mind. When thoughts are racing, particularly before you sleep at night, and you cannot get any relief, this Essence will help create quiet and calm, so that your heart can access the mind only as needed.

Finally, if you need an extra reminder of how you want to live, try absorbing this song:

Yours in flowering health,
Clare xo

P.S If now feels like the right time for you to delve into learning more about energy therapies, flower essences, the Chakra system and how your emotions are affecting your health, then you might want to check out my upcoming Bush Essences Intro Course.

 

© 2015 Clare Chapman T/As Baliena Flower Therapies, All Rights Reserved

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If you would like to reprint any part of this article, please send your request here (you may also like to subscribe to Clare’s free email tips and ‘Like’ Clare on Facebook to stay in touch).

Clare is available for distance Bush Essence consultations (via email, Skype™ and in person) and Intuitive Bush Flower Card Readings, teaches regular official Workshops and can even speak at your next function, conference or event. You can also read more about Clare here and get in touch.

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