This quote comes from a 13-year-old girl, responding to the old proverb, “chop wood, carry water”, which is a good reminder for focusing on the physical to avoid getting distracted and stay present. But the girl’s version is particularly interesting it’s also a good way of pointing at our lack of ability to multitask.
Photo by DGriebeling
Michael J. Formica, writing about the quote in Psychology Today, elaborates:
Contrary to popular belief, human beings cannot multitask. What we are capable of is handling a number of serial tasks in rapid succession, or mixing automatic tasks with those that are not so automatic. That’s one of the reasons that the NTSB reports that texting while driving is the functional equivalent of driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. You just can’t effectively attend to two things at once – even the superficially automatic ones.
Trying to perform true multitasking just gets your wires crossed, so just don’t do it. Handle your tasks in order and you’ll be better off.
5 Steps for Being Present [Psychology Today]