MULTITASKING: FEW INTERESTING CASE STUDIES

It was a winter time when my beloved cousin sister hurried to the bathroom for taking bath and poured warm water on her body before mixing cold water in it… And guess what… She burnt her skin. Her mind was elsewhere…probably on a multitasking mode. As we know that there are tasks which don’t need our sole engrossment and our concentration can be divided. My sister knew that taking bath doesn’t need her soul engrossment though she forgot that her soul concentration was much needed before pouring down warm water on herself.  She had a tough time managing her wounds though we had so much fun discussing her absentmindedness.

Guess what? I just called her up right now and we had a laugh talking about the same incident all over again.

Let’s move on to the next cases…

It was a morning time and my wife was screaming at me, asking me to store water in the buckets before the water runs out. And I was about to get inside the bathroom when my aunt called me. I received the phone and kept talking to her while filling the water in the first bucket. I was fine till the water came to the brink of the bucket. I bent down to lift the bucket keeping my phone between my left shoulder and head. The handle of that bucket was broken and I had to lift it by using both my hands. As soon as I lifted the heavy bucket full of water, my second wife, my beloved Nokia E63 slipped out of my embrace and ‘plop’ drowned in the deep sea water… Oops, I mean in the bucket full of water.

I quickly rescued her, took off her clothes, applied resuscitation but to no avail. She went into a lifetime comma. I had to divorce her and claimed an alimony of Rs.500 from the bakra (scapegoat) that I handed her to.

I had loved her so much and regretted multitasking at her cost…. 😛

Many times I have climbed to the 4th floor leaving my office flat which was on the 3rd floor while chatting on WhatsApp or talking to someone on the phone. Many times I have thrown the tablets into the dustbin instead of the torn wrappers while my mind is occupied with my work on the computer.

Found them funny? Did you have a good laugh? Good! I wanted it too… 😉

So to speak I am not at all good at multi-tasking. I usually give up on one while doing the other. And when I am asked to multitask, I shout back literally or show my displeasure. When my wife requires my attention while the TV is on, I ask her either to switch off the TV to talk or let me watch…do just one thing at a time.

Rajnandini, offered some good advice this week as she usually does every time and most importantly she talked about how multitasking adds heavy loads on our shoulders like – Reduced effectiveness, Lowered productivity and performance levels, Increased stress, Disorganised and cluttered mind, In many cases, more time spent than saved. Don’t you think we should get rid of those loads before getting into troubles, either with the funny ones or the serious ones? Keep thinking about it.

In the end, I am happy to close this week by bringing smiles to your faces.

Stay blessed!

MULTI TASKING – IT’S NOT SUPER HEROISM!

She: Hi!

He: Hello Dear! What’s up?

She: Nothing…just feeling bored and alone. What are you up to?

He: Working on my presentation for tomorrow’s meeting.

She: Oops…Sorry, I am disturbing you!

He: No…no, it’s okay! I can manage it! I’m good at Multi-tasking!

She: Thank you for giving your time… you’re a superhero!

He: Mention not! You too are important to me!

Isn’t this our everyday story? Then what’s exceptional and notable!

The daily demands of our professional and personal life are so much that hardly we have time for anyone. In school we were taught about 10 to 5 is work hours and the evening is meant for socializing…but alas today socializing only exists on social media. Whereas, in reality, the human is a social animal. Everyone needs at least a little amount of time for someone to refresh life.

The Bible says,

“Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed”.

But the big question is HOW?

Often we treat people multitasking like him (‘He’ in the above chat) as, Superhero! And there is no doubt we all have at least one such person in our life whether we have discovered it or not! But what is extraordinary in their superheroism? Are they from some other planet? Are they gifted and we aren’t? If they can do multi-tasking then why can’t we?

One of the brightest minds in human history, Sir Albert Einstein said,

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.

Problems and Responsibilities in life are obvious and its journey only finishes in our grave! But that does not mean we will compass our life in I, Me & Mine. We all have problems and God often teaches and answers while we live for others. But DO WE LIVE FOR OTHERS?

The Bible says,

For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Being multi-tasking is spending time, energy, and concentration. Every second is eternal after a second comes another second but not the same one! Hence, when we share our time diverting our attention towards a person and do our work alongside, it is an Eternal Gift that we gift to someone. The biggest gift we can give to someone is time! But DO WE DO SO?

“Everything that is good demands some amount of Sacrifice”.

Undoubtedly, multi-tasking demands an awful lot of sacrifices and often we may not get rewarded with our expectations rather we get cat-calls. But do we need to compromise with our goodness just because someone goes wrong! THEN WHAT’S THE RETURN?   

The Bible says,

And do not forget to do good and to share with others,

for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

However, will we still configure “MULTI-TASKING as the Super Heroic work” and inbox the term by categorizing it to a certain amount of people? How long will we be confined to our I, Me & Mine World? A life lived with giving the value of time – love and care to others alongside accomplishing our tasks and responsibilities is a life worth living…

Keep thinking!

ARE YOU A MULTI-TASKER?

Are you a multitasker?

Let’s check it out!

Right now as you are reading this article, what else are you doing?

I guess some of you may be driving, some may be cradling your baby in your arms, some may be making your child do their homework, some may be in the kitchen standing by the gas stove – waiting for the milk to boil or the curry to cook and some may be alternating between typing an official report on another tab and reading this article. Well, if you find yourself in any of the above places, you are multitasking at the moment!

Doing two or more things at the same time makes one a multitasker.

Most of us wish we had an hour or two extra over and above the 24 hours at our disposal daily. Especially as people and events around us seem to move at such a fast pace in today’s advanced world, we are expected to match up to them all. In cities and towns, multitasking is the norm of the day – for the young and the old alike. In the rural countryside, things are better-paced with easy breathing space.

Multitasking helps one to accomplish many targets at the same time. Seems to be a great skill to acquire! Afterall, who doesn’t wish to complete maximum tasks in minimum time with still some time to spare!

WHAT REALLY HAPPENS WHEN WE MULTITASK?

Multitasking, in simple words, means switching tasks. When we switch to and from one task to the other, we exert pressure on our brain cells forcing them to function as per our requirement. Our brains are designed for organised human activity.

Have you ever faced a situation in which someone rang the doorbell and your land connected phone rang at the same time? Were you able to take the call and speak to the person on the other end and open the door thus attending to the person standing out there, at the same time? Probably not! You are likely to have responded to one thing, keeping the other waiting for a while.

There have been times in which you felt annoyed while speaking to your husband who said he was listening to what you are saying, but his eyes were on the television screen or the newspaper or his laptop/mobile. Similarly, men must have felt their bit of annoyance while their wives keep nodding at what they say but all the while shuttling between different tasks.

They key word here is attention. You feel the other person isn’t paying enough attention, even though s/he claims to be all ears to what you had been saying.

I think you can now very well understand why the traffic cops penalize people from driving and speaking on their cellphones at the same time! Our brain needs to focus on the road while driving. At the same time, when we force ourselves to think and formulate our responses to the person at the other end of the line while attending to a call, our attention gets fragmented. And so, a major chunk of accidents are reported to be caused while drivers were on their phones while driving their vehicles. Hence, make it a point to pull up by the roadside if you need to attend to a call or make a call and then resume driving. Be focussed. Be safe.

We can focus and primarily attend to only one thing at a time. And that helps us to accomplish tasks better, with increased effectiveness and high level of productivity. Neuroscience and psychological research studies have proved this over and over again.

The cognitive faculties meant for one task are split into two or more areas when one multitasks, thus rendering injustice to all the tasks involved. Multitasking ensures that all the tasks are completed, but not as well as they ought to have been.

Here are some baggages that come along with multitasking –

  • Reduced effectiveness
  • Lowered productivity and performance levels
  • Increased stress
  • Disorganised and cluttered mind
  • In many cases, more time spent than saved

Having talked about how we are mechanised to handle one work at a time, we cannot avoid the fact that many-a-times one really needs to multitask. Time management is the phrase to bear in mind.

  • Cut out on all the non-essential seemingly-important-but-not-so-important tasks from your schedule and fix them for another less occupied day.
  • Wake up earlier than you usually do (after ensuring your adequate amount of sleep time)
  • Delegate tasks to people around you
  • Don’t hesitate to seek help
  • Put your hands only in as many baskets as you can balance

Above all, seek strength from God to manage your daily affairs even as you do your bit to handle your chores to the best possible extent. Challenges beyond your means are inevitable. If you are a working adult with an ailing family member to care for while having to prepare breakfast and a three-four-item lunch and send your child to school – all within two to three hours in the morning, you know it all! Such circumstances require immense physical and psychological strength, despite all the pre-preparation and planning that you do. And so, the Great Designer promises to hold your hand and aid you in the multiple chores of your everyday life as you entrust your day into His hands.

BEING EMOTIONAL ISN’T A FLAW, IT’S DESIGN EXCELLENCE …

I am a very emotional person. Being a woman and also sensitive, crying comes naturally, I cry, cry a lot. It was only today I cried the last, majority of my early mornings or when I slip into sleep I do shell some tears. Please don’t ask me why, I really cannot explain. 

As I grew up, entered the male dominated corporate world, I learnt that displaying emotions is considered negative and can badly effect my career. I get very emotional but usually in solitude, so I tried not to display emotions often when others are around. A very few people even are considerate about those who display their emotions, I am saying it out of my experience, I have had tough times when people consider all of it fake. 

How long can we control emotions? That depends, irrespective of the duration we can catch hold of our emotions, they are going to come out one day. The same happened with me very recently at work. I am the kind of person, who takes in a lot of pressure, take-up challenging tasks at work but yet try to be contained. It has been over an year I was handling one such task, we were due for some thermal tests for our equipment, there were a ton of issues, people refused to accept the root cause. I tried my level best to handle the situation, but it was way out of my control, it is hard to stand against a group of leadership defending against what they think is absolute ‘nonsense’ isn’t the case.

One fine evening, after a two hour long meeting while I stayed all in silence, at the end of it, I uttered 3 sentences, my voice had a shiver, tears in my eyes, it felt like the moment where I was breaking down. Before so many people I really felt embarrassed, this one instance gave me a tag of “an emotional person” in my team. Anywhere people encountered me, they just used to say, “she is very emotional”, because of my already established understanding of being emotional as not so good thing, I was worried. 

Last Thursday, I was almost done with my lunch, about to leave but was waiting for others to finish. Meanwhile my teammate and very good friend of mine asked if he can join, I replied, “sure”. He noticed all of us were almost done and said “may be I joined at the wrong time”. Everyone was talking about something, one person said “she is very emotional, very much , she cannot just handle”, pointing a finger at me. My friend replied “Yes, she is but you cannot find such people easily”, I looked at him with an expression of surprise on my face. 

“Look, I am not trying to convince you, but I will tell you what I have learnt in life. I am not talking only about you but people similar to you who are adding value. One of my previous teammates was just like you, very sincere, at the same time she was intelligent, if she thinks her design would make the architecture better she used to sit for hours to prove its worth. Tell her there is an issue, she would sit all alone in the night to fix it. There are many people who just don’t do anything, not only in our team but many teams, sincere people are making projects succeed. Emotional people are very sincere. Being emotional is not at all negative and in fact your sincerity along with the emotion makes others really consider it. Emotions, let them be, they are only going to help you. Don’t even think of changing yourself, it’s not worth”, these were his words. 

It is very true. Every word of his is true. Emotions are really good and turn out to be helpful. If any of you have the habit of watching TED talks, there are many videos where people just break into tears. Their emotion displays their sincerity, as an audience I have always felt more involved when I watch speakers feeling emotional. When they knew few hundreds of people are watching them live, they are being video-graphed, and the video is going to stay in history forever, people don’t feel the need to hide their emotions.

I personally do not consider being emotional as negative. My emotions have always helped me discover who I am, they have taught me to a great deal, they make me dwell into situations better, make better decisions after I am over the emotional turmoil. Being emotional helps me make deeper connections with others, in some way if I can be of some help that’s really awesome. 

Men or women, it is important for us to display our emotions when appropriate, or when we cannot handle anymore, people who love us would understand us. The expression of emotion could be anger, frustration, ecstasy, many other feelings which can be overwhelming, but trust me, we would be loved the same by people who really know who we are. Let yourself be, let your emotions flow ….

“Eyes that do not cry, do not see.” ~Swedish Proverb

 

 

 

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MUSIC AND RAIN – MY RELAXANTS

15th November 2014, the eventful day when my child was born – the day we cherish, love and celebrate. It was the day when I finally bid farewell to a life of rest and relaxation. From that day till now, work had been the main part of my day’s schedule. It was not only me but also my mother-in-law who worked all day. My mother-in-law was a banker then. She had a fixed time of work. Her tight schedule always kept her on her toes and kept her busy. Her mode of relaxation was a long drive along the river bank, or a short visit to her sister’s place or a movie night. For rest, she loved to come over to which ever state we lived in for the holidays. I too had similar ways to relax which included a late night drive across the deserted streets, a light mood chat with my mother or husband, playing, cooking, art and watching movies. I used to write poems and stories at times, and was appreciated by many friends and family members.

Those now are the ‘fancy stuffs’ I long for. I hardly get time to even sit. Well, these are usual things that happen to everyone. Male or Female, we all long for our comfort zones where we can rest or relax. Recently, I realized that music and rain are the two things that relax me the most. Whenever I feel down, or agitated or unwilling to have any conversation, I switch on the music. I zone out while working and I find peace. Its a way back to sanity and happiness in my life. Music has always had a calming effect on me. Maybe it is very genetic, but I never knew it could fill me with such tranquility. 

Same with rains! I do not get to feel the water on me but still the smell, the wind, the cooling effect, and just the feeling of rain clouds over me is so thrilling and make me the happiest. Even if its gloomy, dirty and muddy for many, its love for some too.

Though things as such are rarities in life, I try to fill in some of them to my daily schedule. They really pump up my energy and fill me with an urge to work more efficiently. Rest is an utmost requirement of our body. Less of it and our body will tire more and we would age more faster. With the adequate amount of rest and relaxation, our body will be able to work efficiently and keep us away from illness by fighting disease causing agents. Like a machine, which requires a shutdown for a particular amount of time to work more efficiently, our body too requires a shutdown. A complete sleep, a short nap, a relaxing spa time, a perfect massage, a warm bath, a 20-mins walk, a soulful conversation, laughing to the heart’s content can give our body a restart for better functioning.

The soul will also rejoice the flow of energy. Let us also be thoughtful and live a little for our own self. Let us prepare to make memories for a longer period, by keeping our body, mind and heart healthy. Because as happiness is self-made, so are rest and relaxation.

Life is all about balance. You don’t always need to be getting stuff done. Sometimes its perfectly okay, and absolutely necessary, to shut down, kick back and do nothing.                                                                                                                – Lori Deschene

DON’T LET THE BEAUTY OF YOUR REAL BE ROBBED BY YOUR VIRTUAL

There is a guy who had lost his lower limbs from childhood. He can’t walk around, run or works like all others who have legs. He was depressed all the time, isolating himself in a corner of his house. But his life changed since his uncle gave him a VR Set. He now can not only walk now but can even run, climb and kick people on their butts… all virtually. But he is happy, satisfied with what he got.

A low self esteem, introvert, not so good looking girl… she was unable to make friends in her school even during her college time so she spends time in loneliness and depression in a corner of her room. Parents are disturbed for her. She loves to read books but how long will she read books. Her Papa recently gave her a new laptop. Her life changed. She got the taste of facebook. She doesn’t have much friends in real so she created a fake account with a beautiful avatar to her profile, She got friends, many friends… not only girls but also guys… she is now happy and engrossed to her screen… to her world of virtual friends.

A man who was engaged to a beautiful girl but was rejected and denied later on for some reasons… He was angry, frustrated and was suicidal. He was in front of his screen…surfing. He found a new dating site. He logged in to try and found many girls and their beautiful proposals… He got hooked to one and became friends… Now they have updated their statuses as “in a relationship” and romancing… all only on virtual. But he is not suicidal anymore…

A married woman is frustrated sexually because her husband has work all the time. He stays away in the names of work. She doesn’t have scope to go outside much as she had to look after her children, her in laws, cook etc. But her husband had given her a new Samsung A7. In her facebook profile she keeps on updating her beautiful pictures… there were many strangers who send friend requests and she accepts few seeing their profiles… And one profile was making her go crazy. She enjoys chatting with her… and so on…  Her frustrations and deprivations were satiated to certain extent virtually…

The list of stories like this can go on and on…

I have observed an astounding fact about those who have online identities. My study says those who are physically active in different works either professionally or with some other purposes are less likely to use social networking sites. And those who are sick, depressed, introverts, self pitied, handicapped or vulnerable in any manner are more likely to be having a virtual profile for themselves in these networking sites. I knew this because I am one of them. I was trapped in this net when I first came to Kolkata in 2001. I was all alone, extremely bored and my physical immobility made me to be addicted to Yahoo Messenger. I was introduced to this world by a cousin though… I was a naïve completely then. But once I came to know about it I became an expert of it…  Then came Friendster.com, Myspace.com, Orkut.com and finally the king of social networking sites Facebook came and booked my face for the web though lately whatsapp took over everything that you can find on this earth. But they all literally captured some part of my real life which was not a good thing at all in the long run which I realized much later.

I did a bit of research further on virtual world before writing this article. I came across an article or two from which I want to quote few lines which will make us understand the negative effects of virtual life…

1. Emotional Wounds

What happens in cyberspace does not necessarily stay in cyberspace. The emotions and feelings of intimate contact felt in VR will be carried over into the real world. So if a partner is being “unfaithful” online, the emotional consequences and impact on their existing relationship are clear.

Are we about to redefine the rules of fidelity itself? What counts as cheating for one person may not be for another. However, studies show that the impact of online infidelity is likely to be the same as that of physical affairs.

2. Physical Injuries

Many experts predicted that 2016 would be the year that Virtual Reality or VR would finally “take off” or “explode”. Why is it then that everyone isn’t jumping on the VR bandwagon and hailing it? Is it because of the worry, as CNBC poised in this thought-provoking article, that the health risks being ignored? Are the health risks really that worrying? The side effects of virtual reality that cause most of these qualms are virtual reality sickness/cybersickness, probable damage to the eyes and physical injuries.

Apart from the above two major negative effects there are many other negative effects like, intrusion in our private lives, social isolation,  destroying relationships, chances of losing reputation, negligence in work life and family life, makes people lazy and irresponsible, decreasing productivity and takes away the life’s survival skills. 

Last two days I tried my best to stay away from Whatsapp and I found out I didn’t loose my friends, I didn’t miss out important information at all, I was not barred from my friends’ friend lists but I could do lot of work that were pending around me, I could concentrate on few of my household as well as official works and it also gave me a sense of maturity and satisfaction.

Recently, one of my friend gave her number to be in touch with on Whatsapp but warned me not to expect her to be much active on it. I assured her to contact her only when I need an article from her.   

Are you a captive of social networking sites? Don’t be… Don’t get robbed off of your peace which you can have in your real life around you…

Stay Balanced! Stay Blessed!

OUR MOST TREASURED MOMENTS ARE WITH OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Family is our cocoon. Family gives us strength. And our friends are our life line. Our life is very colourless without friends. Both are very essential part of our life. But at times in this fast paced life we get a feeling that we are being pulled in multiple directions. And we end up giving more importance to only one aspect of our life.

Let’s take an example, on one end of the spectrum is Sukriti. She is a working professional. She has set sight on some lofty professional goals. And rest of her time goes in tending to the needs of her husband, kids and extended family. But then this leaves her no time for letting her hair down with her friends. And leads to frustrations.

And on the other end of the spectrum is Nikita and Sunil. They are a very social couple and have many friends. Almost every weekend they are out with friends or they are entertaining at home. But slowly this led to too much interference of the friends in their household matters and lead to rift between Nikita and Sunil.

And there is a third scenario, like in the case of Ruma and Ritesh. Ruma is a very outgoing kind of girl and Ritesh is an introvert. Ruma always wants to plan movie or party or picnic with her friends and wants Ritesh to accompany. Whereas Ritesh is highly uncomfortable in this kind of a group. His idea of chilling out is relaxing at home in front of the TV.

Are any of these situations familiar to you? Have you ever been in a similar situation. The resolution of this problem is a family and friend balance.  Few suggestions from my side to attain this balance:

  1. Screen your calls. Decide the time you will give to your friends. If your friends are always calling you when you are getting your little one ready for kindergarten then please tell them that you are available only in certain time slots. If they are really your friends they will surely understand. Don’t try to juggle both… You will end up messing up both.
  1. Remember all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So please take time out for that girl’s night out. Occasionally we all need to let our hair down and just chill. So please make time for spending some awesome moments with your friends away from the responsibilities and duties. It is a very relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
  1. Plan activities that the family can do together. Family time is very precious specially with the kids growing up. Soon they will fly away and we will have an empty nest. Family dinner tradition is usually part of all our childhood memories. Similarly we have to create beautiful memories for our children too.
  1. Husband and wife should respect each other’s nature and requirements. We are different individuals with different outlooks in life. An understanding can always be achieved by talking and doing something for our loved ones. I mean once in a while even if we don’t like outings with a friend we still go as it gives happiness to our spouse. And sometimes we just curl up on the sofa in front of the TV and spend a relaxing weekend with our better half watching movies. Don’t let outsiders have too much say in your family matters.

“Nature chooses our family and we choose our friends”. And they both hold an important place in our life. As we have been reading this whole week life is all about a happy balance between work, family and friends. So guys don’t let it tip too much on one side. And enjoy…