Multitasking and mindfulness are getting popular recently. Most employers seek employees who are good at multitasking. And also we hear from some sources that we should become mindful. When we have a look both, is there a conflict between them?

Word Meanings

Let’s start with finding out their meanings of the word, and I checked the dictionaries. According to Cambridge Dictionary, meanings are as below:

Multitasking’s word meaning is “a person’s or product’s ability to do more than one thing at a time”.

Mindfulness’ word meaning is “the practice of being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calm”.

What do you think when you read the meanings? I am quite surprised because of their dissimilarity. Nowadays, I hear both too often. Why are those two different topics popular at the same time?

Got it, But Why?

Some people tell to the others to stay at the moment, be aware of and enjoy the moment. However they also expect and even want them to be able to multitask t the same time. Okay, but why? Who are they beneficial for?

While working, we are expected to be “multitaskers” in order to complete all the work as soon as possible. When the work is over, we need to practice mindfulness in order to rest our minds and souls. Because multitasking may not be good as we think. It also has some disadvantages like most the other things have. We should be aware of its cons side. Most studies say that we should be careful and try to protect ourselves to its negative effects. I try to summarize for you here, however if you want you can check it our via link. It may have negative effects.

Disadvantages of multitasking:

  1. Losing focus more easily
  2. Slows you down
  3. Being not always polite
  4. Leading to mistake
  5. Bad for your brain
  6. Interrupting the flow of work
  7. Absentmindedness

Despite the disadvantages, mostly HR professionals still define multitasking is one of the needed competencies. Sure, we need competencies to conduct the job properly work-life point of view. Required competencies change depends on the job. As the time went by, necessary competencies is changing too. New one is added, the other is ignored and goes on. New popular one is multitasking. It is defined in the work life as “Most often it involves switching back and forth between tasks and effectively performing different tasks rapidly one right after the other. For example, answering the phone in a busy reception area in between greeting patients or answering emails demonstrates multitasking skills.” according to Indeed. It still sounds good, doesn’t it? There is someone who is multitasker attends a meeting and responding an email at the same time.

Especially in the work, the pandemic forced us to take a huge digital leap in our life and practices. We started to hold online meetings one after another. We start to reply e-mails while attending the meeting with the multitasking competence that is increasing in popularity and widely misunderstood.

What about mindfulness

On the other hand, mindfulness demand is also increasing surprisingly. As you know, it is about being present in the moment and focusing your attention on what’s at hand. So, how is it possible when you are a multitasker? During the ordinary day, we have to make so many decisions, some of them might be simple decisions and some others might be tough and needed to think more carefully. Therefore, why do we make things more difficult? Try to make it easy as much as possible. There is an essay about multitasking and mindfulness which I really like. That’s why I would like to share with you. Here is the link to read more.

Final Words

We should work without making life and work more difficult. Not all popular topics might be always positive. We should take a good look at its pros and cons, and question it in any case. We should benefit from its advantages when necessary.

Multitasking vs Mindfulness