Is it possible to multitask mindfully?

Rohit Vadhwana Tuesday 23rd November 2021 09:57 EST

There are two buzzwords in the market today: mindfulness and multitasking. People might be equally divided in opinion when you ask them about productivity - whether multitasking is important for best productivity or mindfulness.

A class of experts believe that one should be mindful of the task at hand to achieve the best result. Some management gurus also propose that you do not take more than a task on hand at a time; do not keep more than one tab open on your desktop; switch off your phone and log out of your social media accounts while working; create your own productivity bubble; and many more similar success tips. On the other hand, a class of experts believe that in today's fast-paced world, it is impossible to succeed without learning how to multitask. Unless you are managing work with both hands, you are surely going to miss out on something. While replying to an email, you need to know how to answer a phone; how to keep updated on the developments in the world and similar things - all simultaneously. 

It is true that we do not have the luxury of time to finish one task at a time and then focus on another. In the time of social media, the maximum one can do is to keep the phone on silent mode and notification on mute, but perhaps it will be difficult for any individual to completely ignore the calls and stay away from that ultramodern device. If one can do so, either s/he is a very accomplished person or is completely amateurish. But for the lesser mortals who are struggling to keep their jobs, run their business in profit, and maintain contacts with family and friends  - it is impossible to survive unless they learn to multitask.  

There is also a genuine complaint that our attention span has been reduced and competing interests are pulling us in different directions. This demands that we devote more time to an important assignment at hand so that it gets due justice, which can happen only with mindfulness. Any expertise or extraordinary art can be created with full dedication and mindfully meditative efforts. Without giving enough attention, no masterpiece can be created. Most serious tasks have to be attended without any interruption. 

Therefore, it is really important to understand whether mindfulness or multitasking is the real mantra for success in today's life. Answers to this pertinent question may differ from person to person. It may also be different in different situations. But one thing that can be agreed is that some urgent tasks have to be finished by applying multitasking skills while more important and serious tasks may be accomplished with undivided attention in due course. Perhaps a mix of them is a good strategy and safe to conclude that one cannot succeed, neither without multitasking nor without mindfulness.

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