Can We Really Multitask? by Stephanie Nickel
Hmm, that’s interesting. When you search for the definition of multitasking on Google, the first entry comes up deals with computers: “the simultaneous execution of more than one program or task by a single computer processor.” It makes sense the word was coined in the cyber age.
The second definition is similar: “the handling of more than one task at the same time by a single person.”
There is a lot of talk about multitasking these days, but can we really do so? And if we can, can we do so effectively and efficiently?
I have what I call the Butterfly Syndrome. I flit from one thing to the next to the next to the next. Sometimes it’s exciting and fun. At other time it simply means I have a long list of unfinished tasks that need my attention.
I’ve learned that some tasks require my undivided attention. I need to don my proverbial blinders and get at it. And when the task is done . . . Woohoo! What a sense of accomplishment!
But there are other things that go beautifully together.
I’ve begun walking most weekday mornings. Exercise. Check. Ability to think more clearly and work more efficiently. Check. Check.
Add to that prayers offered on behalf of people and situations that come to mind and I’ve engaged body, soul, and spirit. Bonus!
Grab my camera on the way out the door, and it becomes a photo walk. When I look at creation through the lens of my Canon, I am reminded of the Lord’s awesome creativity—and my heart overflows with praise. I am no longer simply asking Him to bless others and thanking Him for His provision; I am praising Him for who He is.
Leave the camera at home and, instead, grab a couple of five-pound weights. This is when I realize I must rein in my multitasking and focus. I can walk and do some basic resistance exercises, but I have to focus on form. And since I have to count my repetitions, I can’t really count this as a prayer walk.
So just what exercises do I do while I walk? (You can also walk for a bit, stop, and do one or two exercises, and then continue.)
*Only try these exercises with the approval of your doctor.*
Overhead Shoulder Presses
Lift your arms to the sides at 90 degrees, like goal posts, the upper part of your arms (shoulder to elbow) parallel to the ground, palms forward. Straighten your arms overhead and press the weights toward the sky. Bring your arms down to the start position. 12-24 reps
Begin with your arms hanging by your sides. Lift the weights in front of you to shoulder height and/or out to the sides, also to shoulder height (palms down). Be careful if raising the weights to the side. Someone may be trying to walk, bike, or skateboard passed you. 6-12 reps
Hold weights at your sides, palms facing forward or to the back. Slowly bend at the elbows and bring the weights towards your shoulders. Slowly lower them to the start position, being sure to fully extend your arms without locking your elbows. 12-24 reps
Overhead Triceps Extensions
You may want to stop and do this with a single dumbbell. Hold it with both hands. Straighten your arms overhead. Move only from the elbows and bring the weight carefully behind your head. Slowly raise it back to the start position. 12-24 reps
Again lift your arms like goal posts. Bring your arms together in front of you. Everything from your elbows to your wrists should touch. Carefully return to the start position.
Rotator Cuff Exercise
Hold a single dumbbell across your body, your elbow at 90 degrees. While keeping your arm, shoulder to elbow gently pressed against your side, rotate the lower part of your arm out to the side. Go back only as far as you can comfortably. Repeat with the other arm. 12 reps each
NOTE: I would only suggest you add resistance exercises if you’re traveling over gentle terrain and know how to do each exercise carefully, with correct form.
So, depending on what we’re doing, we can multitask. We just have to be careful to do each task well, without taking away from the others.
Check out these other articles by Stephanie Nickel