Monday, April 14, 2008

Omnitasking: the latest buzz word to feed our frenzy for efficiency

I'm scared. Really scared for all of us. Instances of insomnia are rising, stress levels among Americans are at an all-time high. At this rate, burn-out may actually become a diagnosable disease. In my bio on this blog you will read that I am a "recovering multi-tasker." Like most people recovering from an addiction to anything, it's my continuous commitment to myself to not get caught in the trap of always thinking I must do 18 things at once.

So imagine my horror when I learned about the latest term in task-ology: omnitasking, meaning that you are working on tasks at every moment from everywhere. I was almost seized by tremors and an enormous migraine just thinking about being an omnitasker. Zippo downtime. Frightening.

I also think this may be the universe's reminder to me that it's time to back away, slowly, from the frenzy and the pressure that reading posts like cause me. With omnitasking, there is no time for reflection, or even enjoying the task at hand. You must always be looking ahead, to the next task that needs completion. And that kind of behavior kills creativity, literally forces you to ignore any kind of intuition senors that we may have.

There have been a lot of scientific studies that come to the conclusion that multi-tasking beyond a certain point actually lowers our IQ. Taking that one step further, does omnitasking do away with our intelligence altogether?

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