The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Is Multi-Tasking Really An Efficient Use Of Your Time?

On April 25th, 2011, posted in: Uncategorized by 1 Comment

Did you know that traffic lights in the past were timed to allow the average pedestrian the opportunity to cross the street at a pace of about four feet of ground per second?   That was research performed by the good folks of the U.S. government completed circa 1950.

A couple of years ago, new research emerged and found that, in fact, there needed to be a traffic light recalibration due to the fact that the average Joe now only walks about 3.5 feet per second.  After 60 years of picking them up and laying them down at a breakneck pace of 2.72 miles per hour, we have now discovered that we can only go 2.39 miles per hour.  Upon doing the math it is easy to decipher that SOMEBODY HAS WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS!!

One would need to know a lot more about the average pedestrian to effectively determine why they go one-third less of a mile in an hour.  Could it be that society is chewing much more gum?  That would lay credence to the age old adage that, sure enough, we can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.  Or, is it that the use of technology and the speed of information flow have become so prevalent that chewing gum has become the least of our worries as it relates to walking?

The problem now is that most people navigate the city’s terrain with some sort of communication device jammed between their chin, shoulder and ear.  This “head-half-cocked,” contortioned means by which to attempt to walk in a straight line is virtually impossible and further complicated by the need to carry a jumbo-sized drink in one hand and a full array of possibilities in the other.  Truly, if one’s head is cocked to the left and the 64 ounces of Slurpee is likewise in the left-hand, the prospect of one walking in a circle is a very real possibility.  That is why what is held in the right hand serves to strike a balance (literally) and becomes an essential variable to the equation.

What is commonly held in the hands of those too young to remember the shows of TV LAND in their first life is another communication device.  Something that begins with an “i” is always a good guess, or a Kindle maybe.  Yes, while the pace of gait has slowed in the “knowledge economy,” the ability to poorly multi-task has reached epidemic proportions.  That’s right, we’re really not good at multi-tasking – admit it.

So, I say all of that to say this: Do one thing well (walking) as opposed to doing three things poorly.  While one would appear to be efficient, some level of expertise is sacrificed when one is attempting three things at once.  No, you cannot be a good listener if you are reading at the same time.  No, you cannot speak effectively if a Slurpee straw is stuck between your teeth and the onset of brain freeze is one suck away.  No, you cannot comprehend what you’re reading if your BFF is chirping in your ear about this weekend’s gala in the basement of some boy’s house you met in the cross-walk when you were walking in circles last Tuesday.

Get it?  By slowing down on the multi-tasking, you’ll speed up in walking.  Then I won’t have to sit at the traffic light any longer than needed.  That’s really what this blog is all about.

One Response to “Is Multi-Tasking Really An Efficient Use Of Your Time?”

Leave a Reply