I like the idea of swearing something off for the New Year. It’s kind of an extra shot in the arm, amid all the resolutions, if you’re making them. Either way, why not swear something off? It’s fun! And I’ve got a doozy for you: multitasking.

Remember the glory of multitasking? Where you answered a phone call, wrote a check, clicked through your FaceBook news feed, organized your desk and updated your calendar all at the same time? We now know, via oft-repeated scientific studies, that the brain can only focus on one or two items that require our attention at a time. What really happens when we multitask? Our attention rapidly shifts from one item to the next, burning extra time and resulting in mistakes, crappy quality and absolutely—lack of presence. Yah.

To put it bluntly, research shows that we can’t multitask. We are biologically incapable of processing attention-rich inputs simultaneously.

—John Medina of BrainRules.com

I’m submitting here that all those nippery things we do at once would be much better done either not at all, or with our full attention. Especially if we want to actually experience our lives as they’re happening. Hmm. Anyone? Bueller? (Me raising hand). As part of my New Year’s practice of engaging in the Now and being fully present, swearing off multitasking is HUGE. I’m axing as many non-essential tasks as possible and allowing the rest my full attention.

If you’re worried about efficiency, don’t be. Multitasking is actually highly inefficient. Google it. Take your time, smell the flowers, really experience the hot water coursing over you in the shower, actually taste your food. Enjoy stuff. Pay attention. Engage—thoughtfully, and with presence. It’s certainly not easy, when we’re so enculturated to be busy and “productive” at all times. The More the Better! Faster! Go Go Go! STOP. Letting go of multitasking and focusing our full attention on what’s at hand is a spiritual practice, and a happy and satisfying one at that. Quality over Quantity. LiveLove&BU

For a great article on multitasking, click here.

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