Slowly feeling better every day
The challenge was to unitask all of February (#UnitaskFeb). I knew it would be difficult, but struggling with several projects and the seasonal mild depression everyone in Sweden gets during the dark months I figured, why not?
The challenge is deceptively simple. Because it’s easy to unitask for an hour or so. But because we’ve spent our entire lives ramping up in pace and number of tasks it feels wrong. Very soon I start to panic. Multitasking is a hard to kill myth, and an even harder to kill habit. Neurologically, there’s no such thing as multitasking. It’s just switching rapidly between tasks, and as anyone working in tech, I’ve long ago become addicted to the busyness of constant distractions. It makes us feel important, and that’s hard to give up.
Most of my work is done on my laptop. Which means it’s actually measurable how productive I am. It’s a scary thought, and a scary number. It’s also amazing that we can test this. I’ve used RescueTime to measure how I’ve spent my time and unitasking has quantifiably makes me more productive.
Like I said I’ve struggled with unitasking. Many, many, times I’ve found myself juggling several things and getting agitated because none of them were really going anywhere. On the other hand I’ve also enjoyed moments of pure flow, usually catching on after hours of slogging through boring tasks one after another. The real benefit however hasn’t been productivity. The real beenfit has been my mood.
I haven’t spent less time working. I haven’t spent less time with friends. But wow, I have enjoyed it more.
I’ve rarely had so many days in a row when I’ve felt happy. Present with what I’m doing, sometimes bored, sometimes stressed, but still happy. Unitasking has not really changed my life, but it has certainly made me more aware of the life I’m living. And I love it.
Unitasking February is almost over and it’s time to reflect on the experiment. Will I continue limiting myself to just one activity at a time? Definitely.
I’ve never felt better about doing stuff. Both the mundane and the joyful. I’m enjoying all of it more, while being more productive.