Monday, 25 July 2016

Empty rewards from little sugar coated tasks

I've been reading Daniel Levitan's "The Organized Mind" (2014). I say reading, but that's probably very generous and makes me sound more intellectual than I actually am. It's probably more correct to say that I jump through the book like a bunny that's had too much caffiene - which is probably how I go about most things in my life!

Ordinarily, I'm more of a Marian Keyes or Mhairi McFarlane kind of girl, but I'm trying to shake things up as a better life investigator - expand the mind you might say.

But, I've gone off topic like the caffeine bunny that I am.

I'm a multi-tasker from way back. I've gotten worse as I've gotten older and jammed more things into the limited minutes in my day. When Princess Sparkles was 6 months old I went back to work a couple of days a week and I was still doing my Masters in Business Administration (don't judge me - I'm the main income earner in the family and I was SO close to finishing that damn masters that I don't actually use in my corporate escapee job). There are only so many hours in the day and I had to multi-task like a demon.

Daniel Levitan (The Organized Mind, 2014, p 170) says:
"In multi-tasking, we unknowingly enter an addiction loop, as the brain's novelty centers become rewarded for processing shy new stimuli, to the detriment of our prefrontal cortex, which wants to stay on task and gain the rewards of sustained effort and attention. We need to train ourselves to go for the long reward, and forgo the short one."

That's me!! I'm so addicted to achieving things that I definitely forego the long reward in order to get the kick of "achieving" something. I took the day off work today so that I could write an essay for a competition. It's quite an intellectual thing about addressing gender parity and there is REALLY good prize money. But here I am writing my blog because:

  • It will take me most of the day to even get a draft of that essay done, so no immediate reward there
  • Most likely thousands of people will enter the competition, so I won't win it anyway (one day we might talk about my self esteem issues, but that's for another day)
  • It's intellectual so I have to turn my brain into serious mode and it just doesn't like being there.
So here I am foregoing the reward of actually writing something important that I'm passionate about because I'd addicted to shiny new stimuli and "empty rewards from little sugar coasted tasks" (a great phrase that I'm pretty sure I nicked from Levitan, D, The Organized Mind 2014).

Is anyone else out there out there addicted to "achieving" (ahem... just a little sarcasm there on my part) and multi-tasking? How far do you go with your multi-tasking and what do you do to try and manage it?

1 comment:

  1. The internet definitely feeds this problem. I do find my attention span dwindling.