Sunday, November 21, 2010

Multi-tasking too much? SITT with it...

It has to be said -- OFTEN, since most of us still don't get it (or at least ignore it) myself included, and I wrote a damn blog about this same topic two years ago and called it MT Brains (get it?): multi-tasking is not efficient.  It FEELS like it is; we get smugly proud of looking/acting busy and managing tasks, putting out fires, and juggling three screen lifestyles all at once.  But the micro-seconds it takes our brains to recalibrate when we jump from one task to another actually SETS US BACK and sucks time and focus for the worse.  And it's physically affecting our brains, and the brains of the up and coming generation.

Check out the story on kids and tech addiction, in the NY Times.  This is startling, but not surprising. Prognostications for the future of our society, anyone?   

There's scientific proof that our attention and comprehension skills are negatively impacted by multitasking, so we need to counteract it...even with focused breathing for a few minutes. Think of it like a counter-stretch during a work-out.

This is why I'm taking advantage of SITT training with Dr M.A. Greenstein  -- Somatic Intelligence Training Technologies 
Also known as “mindfulness practice”  S.I.T. (sm) trains users to embed the practice of mindfulness in an embodied way, grounding it the emergent science of contemplative brain/mind/body studies.   
insula portion of the brain
Dr G is amazingly generous with her time for a pittance of a fee, and with her honey-smooth voice talks us through the art of healthy, cleansing breath.  Think about it for a second:  where are your shoulders right now?  Up by your ears?  How is your breathing?  When's the last time you took a slow, deep, luxurious inhale?  She taught me about the insula, and how focused breathing helps expand that portion of the brain.  It's a fact, jack.  She wrote her thesis on it and spoke at TED.  So, I'm here trying to evangelize something that costs nothing to do but could cost us a lot if we don't:  Take some time each day to do nothing but observe your breath, or, as she says, "Be aware of your awareness."

And now back to our regularly scheduled frenzy.