Multitasking – Fact or Fiction?


“One of the plagues of modern existence is multitasking, which leads to further plagues of “hurry sickness” and obsessive time management” – Dr. Caroline Leaf, (Switch on Your Brain).
As a mere male, whom, I might add, spends a goodly period of time in his cave, I will have to lean on my fairer sex fellow humans to read this article with some understanding of my limitations in the knowledge of this behavior, multitasking.
Dr. Caroline devotes a whole chapter to multitasking. “Stop Milkshake-Multitasking”, the chapter is headed. Her scientific explanation is, and I quote:
“Multitasking is a persistent myth. Paying deep focused attention to one task at a time is the correct way”.
My daughter-in-law (the same one who advised me to be checked out for ADD – I still don’t understand why she advised that; but knowing her to be a very gracious and polite lady, I decided it was fruitless to ask) said that most women, especially mothers, were multitaskers. At the same time she added that men, as a rule, did not possess this talent. I left the discussion feeling rather sorry for us males as, once again, we were overshadowed by the fairer sex in yet another behavioral aspect!
Ah well, I pacified my soul – you still have your cave!
I read Dr. Caroline’s book on the recommendation of a family member and whilst there was very strong scientific information about that most amazing of all human organs, the brain, very well researched, I rather felt that the book had an equally strong drive as a Christian apologetic. By this I mean that she seemed to me to be trying hard to prove to the Christian folk that God, after all, was very pleased with the scientific findings she had discovered.
Back to multitasking.

It’s rather interesting, however, that I felt reasonably certain I was a brilliant multitasker, but after my Daughter-n-Law’s remark about the quality primarily belonging to the female of our species, I begun to wonder about my sexuality! Anyway, since my cave did not offer any fair explanation for this phenomenon of mine, I booked to see a psychiatrist who was an expert in the field of ADD., as my daughter-in-law advised.
Much to my relief, I was put out of my misery, regarding my sexuality, but equally disillusioned regarding my multitasking.
The psychiatrist declared me to be a perfect ADD specimen and made it plain that my ‘multitasking’ was no more than a symptom of my condition – my inability to effectively focus. He hastily reassured me though, that with professional strategy training, my life could achieve a semblance of normality.
In layperson’s language, when I begin a task and in the course of this pursuit, spot something else that needs my attention, mid-stream I move over to the another task and whilst pursuing this next task, spot something else that needs doing and guess what……of course, you guessed! Eventually though, I get back to the original task, as well as the others and complete them all – hopefully. Now you can understand why I honestly thought that I was a multitasker – and surely I can be forgiven for confusing the talent with my condition.
What a bittersweet diagnosis! I was very disappointed at not having a multitasking talent, but grateful that I had a few options as to how to deal with my poor focusing skills, not to mention, the confirmation of my sexuality!
Very fortunately I researched my own strategy and now I am very happily living under the illusion of being nothing short of a great multitasker, who enjoys every moment of his ‘upside down’ life.
What do you think – is multitasking fact of fiction?
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