Confession Time


Well, you should probably expect an ongoing series on the subject of change and self-improvement. I’m in desperate need of both.

First, I have really sinned – or at least transgressed – against God, myself, my family, employers, you name it – by becoming addicted to multi-tasking. A study came out awhile back that no matter what your personality profile might say, no human being honestly multi-tasks well. Some do it better than others, but none of us do it well. However, the more we attempt to do it, the more it raises serotonin and dopamine levels in our brains. In short, we need the high of multi-tasking the more we try to do it. I do it far worse than others, and I’ve tried to pick up speed at that.
It’s worse than Keanu Reeves telling Sandra Bullock to speed up the subway train in order to jump the tracks. (I’m assuming you’ve seen “Speed.”) Hello, Keanu. The train’s jumping the tracks no matter what speed it’s at because the track ends and the brakes are out. The subsequent wreck should have killed both characters. Fortunately, they live in Hollywood Physics Land. I don’t. My trip into muli-tasking mania has made my life a disconnected Hell on Earth. So I’m slowing the train down in increments. Trying to break my addiction to so many stimulants in slight waves, rather than going cold turkey. And I’m trying to remember to pray more instead of relying on those stimulants.
What stimulants could she possibly be taking? Easy. They’re called email (msn and google accounts), this beloved blog, facebook, twitter, the list goes on. And on. And on.
More on this topic later. So who’s with me? Addicted much?

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16 Responses to “Confession Time”

  1. Natalie Aguirre says:

    Yes, I can relate. I need to get more balance in my life too.

  2. Laurel Garver says:

    I tend to call it "attention splatter", and it's easy to slip into at work, especially when I don't set goals each day. There are so many things I want to research, I hop from thing to thing and get nothing much done. When I remember to use the little "task manager" window in gmail, I tend to do a little better.

  3. Barbara Ann Wright says:

    I try not to do too much at one time. I "look at the internet" in the morning, and then try and stay away until the evening when I check facebook and twitter again. If the inclination to surf is too much, I make myself "buy" internet time by doing non-internet tasks first for a certain period of time. It works well for me.

  4. Mark says:

    Well I try to take on too much at once, and I know I don't dedicate enough time to each project. I don't try to multitask as in do several things at once, but I do try to do too much overall. If that makes any sense.

  5. Giora says:

    Victoria, you can keep multitasking while cutting on each task. For example, let's talk about blogging. Literary agenst and book publishers tell us that aspiring and published authors need to have a blog to create a platform to sell their books. They tell us to have an active blog even
    before we have a published book to sell. But we don't have time to do everything. So just cut on each task … like posting less often on your blog. Instead of posting 2-3 times a week, just post once a week. I, for example, only post every two months.. because I don't want to be under constant pressure to find topics to post about every few days. I used to go to Facebook daily, but now I only open my page there twice a week. So, please take a look at all your multitasking and do each task less often and will have less "sins". Best wishes.

  6. Victoria Dixon says:

    Thanks, Natalie and Laurel! And I love "attention splatter." That's perfect. Thanks for the tip on gmail's window. I'll have to look in on that.

    That's part of what I'm starting to do, Barbara Ann. Setting specific times to check accounts. Today was my first day and it was made ten times more awful by finding a rejection once I finally got to my email. Sigh.

    Yes, Mark. That's part of what I'm doing, though I'm also trying to do more than one thing at a time. Not a good combination for the Vicster. LOL

    Actually, Giora, that's what I did several months ago. I was doing posts here three to four times a week for awhile and cut it back to once a week with the occasional Wednesday book review thrown in. Still overwhelmed and I think a large part of WHY is because I've let in too many accounts/clutter and not enough discipline. Sigh.

  7. Rachna Chhabria says:

    I am struggling to strike a balance and not managing at all.

  8. Janet Johnson says:

    The google accounts and the blog for sure, though I had some good separation these holidays. I was surprised at how easy it was to let it go. And how nice. 🙂

  9. Victoria Dixon says:

    I'm sorry, Rachna! I'm in the same boat. 🙁

    Yeah, Janet! I always feel guilty about not posting, but then I'm all about guilt. Sigh.

  10. Susan C. says:

    I think the worst of it is that we take in so much information we learn to skim rather than really read.
    BTW, last Lent I made the resolution to turn off my computer by 9.30 every night unless I was actually working. That really helped get some perspective on what was 'important.'

  11. Victoria Dixon says:

    That's a great idea, Susan! I wish I were better at using my computer time wisely, but maybe if I cut down on how much I use it overall, I'll be forced to reconsider how I use it. Hmmm?

  12. Cat Woods says:

    So very true…sadly. I hope you find some peace away from the addictions.

    Don't make any excuses or feel bad for slowing down on your blogs and social networking. We all need a break sometimes to help rebalance our lives.

    Wishing you the best!

  13. Gabi says:

    I didn't know that it was an addiction.
    But I can certainly relate.
    Sometimes I *really* need to just settle down with a good book and no distractions.
    Or, like, study for exams without the internet running in the background.
    Yeah, that.

  14. Victoria Dixon says:

    Yeah, I'm the Queen (captital Q) of self-inflicted guilt. People keep joking about that being a Catholic trait, but I'm a Baptist!

    Exactly, Gabi. There are times when I remember not having the internet as a distraction and how much writing I got done. If I'd had the internet on my computer back then, I never would have completed the collection of short stories I've got, let alone a novel! Something's got to give. And will in about a month, I'm hoping.

  15. Amy L. Sonnichsen says:

    I'm a little late to the comments, but I can relate to this. I know I'm too busy. My brain is literally a sieve and I need more sleep! *sigh* Thanks for the reminder to slow down, Victoria!

  16. Victoria Dixon says:

    Yes, that's how I always feel any more, Amy. I'm always wanting to sleep and nothing sticks in my head.

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