One of the things I always prided myself on as a wife and mother was my ability to multitask. Keeping all those balls in the air of caring for each of the needs of my three children, cleaning the house, doing the shopping, putting a meal on the table, baking, washing, ironing, being a good wife……
It is only as my children have flown the nest that I have started to understand that it really is a myth. Women have ribbed men over the years about their lack of ability with multitasking. We have believed our brains are wired differently.
But is that true?
In reality, our brains are wired the same, well maybe not emotionally, but what is different is what been modelled to us.
Neuroscience will tell you that our brains don’t multitask they just switch from one task to another. There is actually a start, stop, start process going on in our brain.
This stop start process cannot possibly be as efficient! And no doubt it is more stressful.
In my experience I think men have been modelled a single-minded approach to life. The singular tasks of getting up, going to work, coming home to eat, sleep and repeat.
They will perform one task at a time, finishing one before moving on to the next.
As a women I find myself thinking about too many things at once, the long list of tasks that need undertaking in a day. Do you?
Before we even get out of bed we have probably already decided what we are eating for dinner, that we must put some washing on, remind the kids to take their PE kit with them, pick up that parcel to take to the post office on the way home…….
Blah, blah, blah
I’m sure most of you women can identify with me and the men look on amused at us running ourselves ragged whilst thinking that’s one less job for me to do!
But what is the cost to us?
For the main part women suffer with stress and anxiety on a far greater level than men.
Perhaps we should ask ourselves the question….”is multitasking at the root of our problem?”
Try this little task and then reconsider the benefit of multitasking.
Draw 2 horizontal lines on a piece of paper
Set a timer or get someone to time you.
On one line write
- I am a great multitasker
On the second write
- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
How long did it take you?
Now let’s multitask.
Draw your 2 lines again, start the timer.
Write I on the first line then 1 on the second.
Write a on the first and 2 o the second.
Write m on the first and 3 on the second.
Continue like this until you have written all the information along the lines.
How long did it take this time? No doubt considerably longer.
And how about the additional brain power it took to think where you were at with writing the words!
Is it any wonder we are always too busy to sit and relax in an evening, our brains feel overloaded?
Then there is the negative affect on our bodies – causing our stress levels to rise, additional cortisol to be released, the anxiety about remembering and getting everything done! And so starts the waterfall of hormones that ultimately knock our bodies out of homeostasis and into a myriad of health concerns.
So ladies it’s time to rethink.
Next time you think you are multitasking stop yourself and focus on that one thing.
It’s not going to be a five minute fix, we may find it helpful to have a notebook to brain dump our tasks on to but let’s see if we feel less stressed and become more efficient.
Get out your peppermint essential oils to help you focus.
Your rosemary to aid the memory.
Some wild orange and frankincense for some calm.
Let’s learn a new way of doing life, reduce our stress, stop beating ourselves up for not getting enough done, talk to ourselves in a kinder way and take that extra time we gained in a day for some self care.
I would love to hear your thoughts and your feedback on how you get on.
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