Multi-tasking seems normal nowadays. Doing just one thing at a time is something that modern humans have long forgotten. One task at a time is something that people today attribute to primitive times — not exactly Stone Age era, but ever since technology has made the world smaller, multi-tasking became the new way of life. All around us, we see people, myself included, doing more than one thing at a time. Not only does it save time, but the deed has also become so natural that we don’t even realize it. Multi-tasking however has its fair share of critics; some say that although multi-tasking may seem productive at times, there are instances when multi-tasking can negatively affect our way of life.
The modern human has evolved so much that doing one activity at a time is never enough or may be considered as underperforming because we are not squeezing every ounce that our brain and body can produce. Our processing powers have been upgraded along with advancement in technology. These are just some of the things that people like to multi-task:
For students, I notice that they don’t just read while studying nowadays. To save time, most of them eat while doing their readings or doing their assignments. It is good practice actually — eating alone costs so much time that could be spent in other productive things such as studying. It also helps that eating does not require a lot of brain power to do, so it is okay to do these at the same time. Sometimes, it is not just eating that is multi-tasked with studying. Listening to music is one habit that some students like to do when they are doing their readings. Some are able to concentrate more when they are listening to music. It varies, however; some easily get distracted and demand complete silence. I’m not sure if there are studies that have been done on this subject, so I’m not in a position to say whether listening to music is beneficial or not. People may believe that it is beneficial to them, while some may think that it is not. At any rate, nobody can really tell for sure. I believe it is just the state of mind of each individual. A person would believe what he or she wants to believe — if a person thinks that listening to music is good while studying, then it may really be helpful. The same goes with demanding complete silence; if a person believes that listening to music while studying is not helping, chances are, it really wouldn’t for him or her. It does not really affect our culture negatively or positively. It is just a matter of preference.
If people are not eating when they are studying, they are eating while in transit to work or, yet again, to study. It seems the world has become too busy to even spend a little time to properly eat a meal on a table. I often see people, all sorts of people that are eating something while walking on the streets. Why waste time on eating at home or at a diner when you could do it “on-the-fly?” Not only does eating on-the-move save time, but it is also a good way to negate all the calorie intake we get from the very food we eat. Kidding aside, I personally hate doing this because I feel uncomfortable chewing food in front of strangers. I also feel unsatisfied after eating while walking. The only problem I can see with eating on-the-go is that people may not be getting enough (quality and quantity) food. Most eat-on-the-run people buy their food from stands which is not always healthy and clean. Even if people do get their food from their houses, the amount is usually limited because it would be troublesome to eat if there are ample amounts.
Still sticking to the topic of eating, business talks are sometimes done during lunch and dinner meetings. Ideally, the “talk” is not done during the actual eating but done right after the meal is finished. But as long as the parties involved are still seated in the restaurant or wherever they have eaten, I still consider it as part of the time allotted for lunch or dinner. I can’t write it down in column where I cam judge it as having a positive effect on our culture or a negative effect. It is just plain formal.
The most common thing to multi-task is talking on the phone — either using a land line phone or a cell phone — while doing something else, especially while driving. Since the rise of cell phones and particularly, wireless blue tooth technology, people are talking more and more while driving (preferably hands-free of course). All the time, I see people in nice suits driving with an earpiece attached to their ears, ready to accept or make a call any time. The downside of this in our culture is that it projects people as workaholics since they want to be updated in their work all the time. Another negative aspect is that it makes us seem like slaves to our own creations — that we are unable to live without technology on our heads (literally). But the most significant effect of talking while driving is of course, its potential for disaster. Yes, most people use hands-free devices, but there is still some level of distraction whenever somebody is driving and at the same time chatting on the phone. It is not just the driver that is at risk of getting injured; his or her passengers may also get injured or die, not mention the innocent pedestrians that may be in the vicinity of the accident if and when it happens. Moreover, driving while on the line may make others think that they are inconsiderate or even reckless.
Apart from talking on the phone while doing something else, a lot of multi-tasked activities are done in front of the computer, talking on the phone included. A lot of jobs today require people to do multiple tasks at the same time. There are even specific jobs that literally call for the employee to type on the computer while talking to clients; transcribing everything that is being said and doing research for clients all at the same time.
Even activities that are not related to work are multi-tasked in front of the computer. For example, a relative might call while at work and there is an urgent job that needs to be done, so people would rather stay in front the PC and work while entertaining calls. Again, eating is compromised when it comes to work; people may opt to eat inside their offices to save time so more work can be done. It seems eating is the easiest task to adjust and multi-task with. The problem with this practice is again, it may affect our eating habits. A person might not eat properly if he or she has other things in mind. This practice may also cause employees to become unhealthy and unhappy, which in the long run would result in less productivity.
I would like to end this essay with a simple multi-tasking habit that I do most of the time — whenever I am brushing my teeth and the television is already on, I would brush my teeth in front of the TV. I don’t know how and when I started to develop that habit, but it is certainly something that I am very fond of doing, especially when I suddenly hear something really interesting from the TV, I come rushing out of the bathroom just to see what that “interesting” thing is. I know it is just a simple way of multi-tasking, so I am confident that it has no significant effect to my life or to society.
Brainstorming – the first thing that I did was think of activities that I see people doing, things they multi-task. After realizing that I can come up with plenty of multi-tasking activities, I decided to proceed to the next step.
Listing/ Outline – the next step is to list multi-tasking activities that I observed both from others and from myself and then arrange them in an outline.
Draft – after the outline, I began writing my first draft. My first draft consists of whatever came into my mind with reference to the outline.
After I finished the first draft, I proofread it for grammatical and punctuation errors. If there are things that seem misplaced, I try to find places for them where it would fit.
When I was satisfied with my proofreading, I considered the paper done and made it my final paper.