I am sitting at an airport planning on flying out soon to KC for some meetings. I am multi-tasking: listening to the Masters Golf Tournament on the Internet, answering emails, answering texts, checking out flights for a future trip, looking at my upcoming calendar, people watching, and “oh yeah” writing this blog.
Multi-tasking can be fun. Some are better at it than others. I grade myself as “average.” I have gotten used to having multiple windows open on my computer. With a sweep of my hands, I can toggle between two or more screens. Cool stuff this technology thing.
The problem with multi-tasking occurs when I should be tuning into another person. I think many of us do this where we are actually considering other things while we are supposed to be focused on the individual. I miss subtle clues to what that person is saying. I can’t observe what he or she is saying with body language. I can’t fully listen.
I can certainly pretend with the best of them. I can nod at the appropriate moments. I can even make a few noises that suggests “I am there” with the person. But, I know better and eventually so will the person. My attention is divided.
Multi-tasking doesn’t work when it comes to relationships. Each person deserves our undivided attention. When you are in an airport or alone or in some similar circumstances, maybe it works. Just remember to be ready to put it all away when a live breathing person enters your world!