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DAVIDSON: Taking On Too Much At Once?

In our current era of multi-tasking, concentration and focus are underrated.

Jeff Davidson

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It’s understandable these days that many people, faced with a unique set of circumstances brought on by the lockdowns, are grappling with ways to get things done. When one attempts to take on too much at once, however, and perhaps engages in multi-tasking, the results can be quite less than satisfying.

Consider this: A magnifying glass held up at the correct angle to the sun will quicky burn a whole through a piece of paper. At the same time, no matter how much sun shines through your office window onto your desk, none of those long and tedious memos are going to catch on fire. The lack of combustibility has nothing to do with the way the manufacturer engineered this flat piece of glass.

In our current era of multi-taskers, concentration and focus are underrated. Multi-tasking is occasionally helpful and seemingly satisfying but, along with the shower of information and communication overload, represents a paradoxical impediment to getting things done. Let’s see why.

More Speed, Less Comprehension

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The term multitasking evolved from the computer industry, the early mainframe computers designed with parallel processes is perhaps the prime example of automated multi-tasking. Today, with the typical office professional sending or receiving more than 200 messages a day, counting all forms of communication, and all of them coming and going at shorter intervals, a generation of career professionals are being driven virtually to distraction.

Facing information and communication overload, ever-advancing technology, and more choices than anyone needs or even wants, nearly an entire workforce generation has been ‘taught’ to multitask as if this is the way it has always been, needs to be, and always will be. We offer our attention here, there, and then somewhere else. Like a one-man band, we get our strokes from strumming the guitar, tapping our foot, and blowing on the harmonica.

Too often, we equate flapping our wings, stirring up a lot of commotion, and making a lot of noise with accomplishment. We can barely tolerate stillness. For many, silence doesn’t appear to be golden, it seems more like a dark space. Undivided attention is a term that has fallen out of popular use.

Generally, we feel guilty if we don’t multi-task! We contemplate our increasing workloads and responsibilities and how they are subject to continual shifts, and justify multi-tasking as a valid response to a world of flux.

The Task at Hand

Despite the temptation to do otherwise, focusing on the task at hand is vital to getting things done. Whether there’s a handful of tasks confronting you, or ideally only one, give all your time, attention, energy, focus, concentration, effort, and all that good stuff to the task at hand, and then turn to what’s next.

Multi-tasking seemingly enables one to achieve time-saving benefits, but does it? While some people remain relatively unscathed by multi-tasking and can get as much done in the course of the workday, most people suffer in ways they don’t even understand.

Rather than increasing their productivity, multi-tasking diminishes it. They make more mistakes. They leave too many things undone. Their quality of work is not what it could be. And the list of potential hazards of multi-tasking is beginning to grow. Are you a victim to any of the following:

* Gaps in short-term memory?
* Loss of concentration?
* Problems communicating with co-workers?
* Lapses in attentiveness?
* Stress symptoms such as shortness of breath?

When multi-tasking, sometimes your brain can go into a crash mode. This is characterized by not being able to remember what you just said or did, or what you’re going to do next! This has been termed “having a senior moment,” but it’s no joke and it doesn’t only happen to seniors.

Professor David Meyer at the University of Michigan has established a link between chronic high-stress, multi-tasking and loss of short-term memory. “There is scientific evidence that multi-tasking is extremely hard for someone to do, and sometimes impossible,” he says. Then, the time lost switching between tasks tends to increase the perceived complexity of the tasks and often results in making a person less efficient than if he had chosen to focus on one task or project at time.

Research conducted at the National Institute of Mental Health confirms that when the brain has to juggle several tasks at once or in rapid succession, it has to overcome “inhibitions” that it put in place to cease doing the task. It’s as if the brain is taking its foot off the break.

The Vital Keys

Focus and concentration will be your keys for getting things done. Multi-tasking, as it is popularly understood and practiced, is not your answer. It is expensive in terms of the level of stress induced and the rise in errors and, hence, can actually hamper productivity.

News

Texas Doctor Defies Abortion Ban, Setting Up New Legal Challenge to Enforcement

This is just a game of courts and time, and this doctor is betting that with enough of the latter, the former will swing to his favor.

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While the Supreme Court is often seen as a finish line for certain legal challenges here in the United States, in some cases, it is truly only the beginning of another, larger fight.

Such seems to be the case in Texas, where a new abortion ban has already been defied by one doctor.

A Texas doctor claimed Saturday that he has deliberately violated the state’s new abortion law in order to help test whether it’s legal.

Alan Braid, an obstetrician-gynecologist in San Antonio, explained his actions in an essay published in The Washington Post.

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Braid writes that he understands “there could be legal consequences” because of his action.

It seems that “legal consequences” were the whole point.

“But I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.”

He added later: “I understand that by providing an abortion beyond the new legal limit, I am taking a personal risk, but it’s something I believe in strongly.”

The news comes just days after the Attorney General, Merrick Garland, stated his unequivocal opinion that the new Texas law was unconstitutional – something that very well may have factored into the decision by Braid.

Braid’s case, should Texas choose to enforce the law against him, certainly has the makings of a situation that could again reach the Supreme Court.  Should there be any changes to the makeup of that judicial body ahead of Braid’s case, there could be a reasonable chance that the Texas law gets overturned.

This is why the GOP is so concerned about the Biden administration’s willingness to consider the possibility of packing the court.

While the Supreme Court is often seen as a finish line for certain legal challenges here in the United States, in some cases, it is truly only the beginning of another, larger fight. Such seems to be the case in Texas, where a new abortion ban has already been defied by one doctor. A Texas doctor claimed Saturday that he has deliberately violated the state’s new abortion law in order to help test whether it’s legal. Alan Braid, an obstetrician-gynecologist in San Antonio, explained his actions in an essay published in The Washington Post. Braid writes that he understands “there could be legal consequences” because of his action. It seems that “legal consequences” were the whole point. “But I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.” He added later: “I understand that by providing an abortion beyond the new legal limit, I am taking a personal risk, but it’s something I believe in strongly.” The news comes just days after the Attorney General, Merrick Garland, stated his unequivocal opinion that the new Texas law was unconstitutional – something that very well may have factored into the decision by Braid. Braid’s case, should Texas choose to enforce the law against him, certainly has the makings of a situation that could again reach the Supreme Court.  Should there be any changes to the makeup of that judicial body ahead of Braid’s case, there could be a reasonable chance that the Texas law gets overturned. This is why the GOP is so concerned about the Biden administration’s willingness to consider the possibility of packing the court.

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Opinion

Despite Federal Freakout, ‘J6’ Rally Remains Peaceful

The federal response to the event has turned out to be a joke.

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All week, we heard nothing but abject terror from the mainstream media.  They were completely convinced that there was trouble coming down the pike on The Beltway, and they were frothing at the mouth in hoping to blame it on the MAGA Movement.

But, despite their desperate and derivative dialogue, the “Justice for J6” rally went off without a hitch, foiling their naysaying narrative.

Early reports and videos emerging from the pro-Capitol-rioter “Justice for J6” rally indicate that the event has drawn “a few dozen” attendees, and many times that number of press and police.

On Saturday afternoon, videos began trickling out on social media showing the early stages of the event, organized to show support for those imprisoned over the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol, showing very high turnout — by cops and the media.

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This, after weeks of fear mongering and facetious insults from the mainstream media.

In fact, the overzealousness of law enforcement wound up being a bit of an embarrassment.

Despite the turnout, the event drew a large law enforcement and media presence. Capitol Police said Friday they were working with over 27 agencies from around the region to secure the event.

This appears to reiterate the idea that the mainstream media’s vilification of Trump supporters has been largely inappropriate, and just another attempt at manufacturing outrage to bolster their ratings.

All week, we heard nothing but abject terror from the mainstream media.  They were completely convinced that there was trouble coming down the pike on The Beltway, and they were frothing at the mouth in hoping to blame it on the MAGA Movement. But, despite their desperate and derivative dialogue, the “Justice for J6” rally went off without a hitch, foiling their naysaying narrative. Early reports and videos emerging from the pro-Capitol-rioter “Justice for J6” rally indicate that the event has drawn “a few dozen” attendees, and many times that number of press and police. On Saturday afternoon, videos began trickling out on social media showing the early stages of the event, organized to show support for those imprisoned over the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol, showing very high turnout — by cops and the media. This, after weeks of fear mongering and facetious insults from the mainstream media. In fact, the overzealousness of law enforcement wound up being a bit of an embarrassment. Despite the turnout, the event drew a large law enforcement and media presence. Capitol Police said Friday they were working with over 27 agencies from around the region to secure the event. This appears to reiterate the idea that the mainstream media’s vilification of Trump supporters has been largely inappropriate, and just another attempt at manufacturing outrage to bolster their ratings.

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