I was listening to XM Radio the other day. Elizabeth Lesser, one of my favorite authors, was interviewing Arianna Huffington who was talking about how multi-tasking and constantly being plugged into the internet, cellphones, ipods, etc are really affecting our well being. We are so busy muli-tasking  that many of the pleasures of daily life are passing us by.

I completely agree with this. After struggling with insomnia, I realized that part of the problem was being on the computer too late which was in essence turning my “nights into days” and confusing my circadian rhythms.

Raiman Naiman wrote a great book on this called Healing Night if you’re interested in more information about this.  In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honroe is another great book on the subject of monotasking..

On the other hand, there are occasions that in my mind definitely call for multi tasking. One of those situations is when you’re making phone calls and can reasonably anticipate that you’ll be put on hold.

I used to get very frustrated with voicemails, being put on hold,  dealing with computers instead of people that ask you to respond to questions and I’m delighted to say that I’ve conquered (at least for the moment) that learning curve.

I did this by making a list of things to do while I’m on hold.  Sometimes, this list is in my head – it may be something like cleaning out a refrigerator, filing, or grooming the dog.  It may be laying down with my feet propped against the wall with an eye pillow.

In any event, the idea here is that after I’m done going through the necessary inconveniences of resolving the problem that put me on hold in the first place, I end up feeling like I’ve accomplished something and relaxed while doing it.

It is a place where multi-tasking works.  Just as mono-tasking works when it’s important to be focused on driving, multi tasking helps me stay cool, calm and collected.

This has been a learning curve for me.  It took me realizing how resentful I felt about having my time absorbed by some meaningless hold music to help me see that I was in control of my mood.  And, as Maya Angelou says, “when you know better you do better.”

Is there something you are feeling resentful about?  Can we help you find ways to feel better?  Have you learned some ways to manage your time and your mood that may be helpful to the rest of us?  Please feel free to share your comments and questions here.

2 Responses to “Case Study on Insomnia: The Learning Curve Continued”

  1. Linda Resca Says:

    Hi Char ~

    I was just talking w/a friend this week about “multi-tasking”. Multi-tasking has never felt natural to me & typically leaves me feeling ungrounded & unfocused.

    Last year – I listened to a podcast on brain research & the scientist said that there is actually no such thing as multi-tasking … hmmm.. that’s interesting to think about !

    All of this said – I do exactly what you do ! – I do a multitude of things while on hold on the phone. As a matter of fact – if I think about it … I multi-task often, throughout the day — or @ least I think I do !?

    Thanks for listening !


  2. Char Says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us Linda. Yes, it’s interesting when you think you’re not a multi tasker and find occasions where it’s the only sensible thing to do – like when you’re on hold on the phone.

    I appreciate your input!


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