The effect of multitasking on our family – and why it should be avoided

by | Jun 25, 2020 | Family life, Personal growth | 0 comments

In only a few days our family is going to take an 8-hour drive to spend some family vacations in the south of France.
As our planned vacation in spring were canceled due to the closed frontiers, we were unsure if and when we would be able to go for a family vacation.

In only a few days our family is going to take an 8-hour drive to spend some family vacations in the south of France.
As our planned vacation in spring were canceled due to the closed frontiers, we were unsure if and when we would be able to go for a family vacation.

Even though we cherished the times we had during the confinement, and we enjoyed our very private campground with pool and sandbox in our garden, there was a lot of work for Benny in his Garage and much homework to do with our kids.

This is why time away from home as a family was still something we tried to fit into the changed schedule of this year.
Therefore, we are looking forward to these vacations on a goat farm in the middle of nowhere in the midst of vineyards in the south of France – a place where we have been in the past. Benny and I as well as our children love it very much.

In a past article I shared with you why vacations are priceless – and this for life, not just for a moment.
And in this article, I wrote about  Family Vacation – a good Time to review Family Vision and Values.

Today I would like to touch another subject related to vacations and share with you briefly an important factor to consider while going on vacations.

For our upcoming vacations, we decided that we will take time to slow down. A time with very limited social media projects on the run or distractions that fill our mind. We want to make sure that:

  1. Our life is not based on what we do.
    Being productive, being busy can give a sense of fulfillment. To finish another project or to jump from one task to the other can be not only time-consuming but distract from what really matters in life.

  2. Being sure that we don’t forget what really matters in life
    I want to be a present mother. Not only by being at home but capable to care for what really matters to our kids. To provide my family a home where they get nurtured, where they feel seen, heard, and important. I think it is great when kids see that their parents are invested and passionate about what they do in their ministry or work. However, there are too many kids who feel a burden or even abandoned, even if it’s often “just” emotionally”. This can happen so easily, like when we spend time on our smartphone while having a child on our lap, in our vicinity, or even while nursing a baby. When parents do their projects and follow their dreams at the expense of the family – the children’s emotional well-being will suffer.

  3. Stepping out of multitasking

Caroling leaf, in her book “Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health” writes a whole chapter on multitasking. She explains:

“One of the plagues of modern existence is multitasking, which leads to the further plagues of “hurry sickness” and obsessive time management. The truth about multitasking is that it is a persistent myth. What we really do is shift our attention rapidly from task to task, resulting in two bad things: (1) We don’t devote as much focused attention as we should to a specific activity, task, or piece of information, and (2) we sacrifice the quality of our attention. I call this “milkshake-multitasking.”

We live in a society where we are pretty much “running around”, trying to complete all the tasks, obligations or even chosen activities.

And I see that in my own life. There are the things I do out of obligation, duty, commitment or necessity, like providing for daily meals, laundry, housework, etc., others out of passion and then also the things I do because I want to be faithful with what is entrusted to me. And even many other things I do to come down from a busy day, like watching a movie, will still add up to an occupied life.

I enjoy being productive, I enjoy seeing projects coming into shape and relationships being built. I love to do this website and enter into new land – like the videos I started to make.

However, as Caroline Leaf explains further on in that chapter: 

“Poor focusing of attention and lack of quality in our thought lives is the complete opposite of how the brain is designed to function and causes a level of brain damage. Every rapid, incomplete, and poor quality shift of thought is like making a milkshake with your brain cells and neurochemicals. This milkshake-multitasking, which is the truth behind multitasking, creates patterns of flightiness and lack of concentrationthat are unfortunately often erroneously labeled ADD and ADHD and that are too often unnecessarily medicated, adding fuel to the fire.”

I have to admit, that when I am fully into my multitasking, trying to get done everything that has to be done, I have a really difficult time to come down and simply “be”, to care deeply about the little things my kids care about or simply sit down with them and share a good cuddling-quality time. And when I do it, well… then I have still all the things I should do instead in the back of my mind.

Therefore, we want to make sure that the privilege of going to vacations can be fully cherished for what it can be. A time to make sure that:

  • Our lives are not based on what we do.
  • That we won’t forget what really matters in life.
  • We can step out of multitasking.


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