MULTITASKING …

Recently I found myself driving down the street flipping back and forth from CNN radio to MSNBC keeping up with the current criminal trial in real time and evaluating the news coverage.

I was running late for an appointment – me the all time queen of arriving thirty minutes early. Plus, I was craving a Skinny Vanilla Latte and searching each corner for a Starbucks.

Traffic slowed. I then remembered a phone message from my dear friend. Needed to call her. I punched the “phone” button on my dashboard and then my friend’s preprogrammed number rang.

Traffic slowed, then surged forward, then slowed again, then resumed normal speed. I changed lanes.

Suddenly, a car turned directly in front of me in the intersection.  I slammed on my brakes luckily avoiding careening into her.

What in the world? My mind lashed out at the woman as she continued her turn. My eyes glanced up surprised to see that my own light had been red.  Feeling foolish was an understatement. I slowly drove away wrestling with how that had happened.

Apparently I had been watching the next traffic light ahead of me instead of focusing on the one directly in front of me.

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Had my multi tasking been the problem? Certainly part of it.  I had let my tired body be distracted by life and duties and obligations and appointments.

Juggling, throwing balls up in the air, trying to handle too much in the moment.

I had always pulled over to text or email and prided myself on that.  But after this experience, I’ve pledged to squash the feeling that I need to be accomplishing more – at least when I’m driving.

What’s the worse thing that has happened to you from multitasking? Let’s start a conversation!

2 thoughts on “MULTITASKING …

  1. Byron July 12, 2013 / 3:35 pm

    While I was a military pilot, I certainly did a lot of multitasking. An incident comes to mind that illustrates how one can get in trouble while multitasking. In pilot training I was practicing landings. When a jet fighter makes comes in for a visual landing, the pilot makes what is called a 360 degree overhead approach. The pilot lines up with the runway on approaching the airbase 1500 feet above the runway, flies over the runway, and when the aircraft passes the far end of the runway, he makes a 180 degree turn to the left while maintaining altitude and flies back toward the beginning of the runway. As he passes the beginning of the runway, he drops his lading gear, makes a left turn to line up with the runway, and descends down to the runway and land.

    Now, the night before this practice session, the instructor and I were at the Officer’s Club having a brew as we discussed how to land the aircraft. The instructor was going over what happens when you forget to put the gear down. I told him not worry about that because I had it so ingrained in my mind that when I made that last turn, I might forget everything else but I would never forget to lower the landing gear.

    The next day as we approached that last turn, the instructor begin asking me if I had looked to see if there were any airplanes making an instrument approach or if there were any vehicles on the runway. No, there were not. As I rolled out on final approach and went in for a landing, the tower called me and told me to go around as I had forgot to lower my landing gear.

    During my debriefing after the flight, the instructor told me the that, whenever I was distracted, particularly during an emergency, the very first rule was “fly the airplane”. When driving a car and you get distracted, don’t forget to “drive the car”.

    • Byron August 4, 2013 / 6:14 am

      Gosh, after rereading this, I see that I didn’t proofread my reply before I published it. I must have been distracted.

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