Before my fingertips even touched the keyboard to type this, I had already opened and closed Facebook twice, caught up on the new posts on my Tumblr dashboard, and checked my email for the fourth time in the past hour, even though I knew I wouldn’t be receiving anything so dire and pressing. Meanwhile, Fox’s animated sitcom “American Dad” was on in the background (muted, of course) while my speakers were blasting songs from my “Senior Spring” playlist. Did I mention that I was also responding to the group text messages my best friends were sending me?
They say that our generation is prone to multi-tasking – so much so that some people argue we can’t get anything done if we’re not doing more than one thing at a time. I’ll admit, I can see where that belief comes from. I’ve seen friends set up shop in the library and prepare to write a paper by opening a Word document and streaming a TV show on the same screen, all while playing cell phone game. My sister sits in front of the TV and talks to me while she reads or does research online. And we’ve all been in those classes where the professor instates a “No Laptop Policy” to combat the distracting tendencies of today’s youth.
But, while I see why people are alarmed, does it really have to be such a bad thing that we like to do a lot at once? Wasn’t there a time when putting “Can multi-task” on a resume was necessarily a GOOD thing? I think it’s all about time and place. And activity. Let me explain myself. If you’re supposed to be taking a test or answering interview questions, multi-tasking probably isn’t the best idea. If you’re having an argument with your significant other, I sure hope you’re not on the phone or online at the same time. But if you’re faced with an abundance of responsibilities like most college students are – a response paper, an email to a professor, setting a time to meet friends for dinner, calling parents – I applaud you for your ability to multi-task. Don’t lose that spirit.
So how do I get things done? Setting goals and setting limits. Getting started right away. Sleeping. Rewarding myself for a job well done and NOT punishing myself when I slip up. These may not work for you, but find whatever strategies will get you where you want to be.
Now, go forth and multi-task!