Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Prayer & the Myth of Multitasking (PrayerLife)

Mushroom in our backyard
It's Tuesday. This afternoon I'm going to the back of our 3 1/2 acres and sit, in the woods, on the riverbank. I'm going to pray. I'm going to meditate on Scripture. And I'm going to slow cook in some of Howard Thurman's deep thoughts.

When God speaks to me I will write it down in my spiritual journal.

I'll do this for 3-4 hours. Alone. God and I. I've done this for years. I'm not doing this to try to make something happen; I'm doing it to see and discern what is happening in me and around me and beyond me. I'm looking forward to meeting  with God today!

A byproduct of these times is that creative juices flow inside me. Some good thinking happens. Awareness and attentiveness get readjusted. All these things occur as a result of intentional God-attending.

I'm going to be quiet and still.

This morning I'm reading Susan Cain's book QuietCain cites studies indicating that excessive stimulation impedes learning. "A recent study found that people learn better after a quiet stroll through the woods than after a noisy walk down a city street. Another study, of 38,000 knowledge workers across different sectors, found that the simple act of being interrupted is one of the biggest barriers to productivity." (p. 85)

Therefore excessive multitasking impedes learning, since multitasking is being-interrupted. Cain writes:

"Even multitasking, that prized feat of modern-day office warriors, turns out to be a myth. Scientists now know that the brain is incapable of paying attention to two things at the same time. What looks like multitasking is really switching back and forth between multiple tasks, which reduces productivity and increases mistakes by up to 50 percent." (Ib.)