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Multitasking is Seriously Overrated

Multitasking is seriously overrated.
It’s robbed me of the simple enjoyment I get from a quiet cup of tea, with nothing else going on, for the last time!
Our society worships at the shrine of the overachiever. I no longer see it as a virtue.
I’m not drinking that Kool-Aid anymore. I’ve moved on to lovelier libations with different messages.
I’ve decided to stop answering my cell phone in the evening. If you’re my friend, you have my home number. If not, I can talk to you in the morning. My husband was shocked at my attitude. He seriously thought I was nuts! There may be a small element of truth in the nuts assessment, but we’re not going there today.
Multitasking is Seriously Overrated

No cell phone anywhere near my bubble bath now!

I no longer feel I have to be available by phone, 24 hours a day. If the home phone rings while we’re having dinner, we let the service pick it up. If I’m in the tub…it’s not even within earshot.
I no longer feel obligated to answer the phone…just because it rings.
They’re calling me! That makes answering it, my choice.
It took my husband a while to get on board with the program. His knee jerk reaction, to always jump for the phone, is slowly fading. Maybe he’s just decided my cooking is good enough that he doesn’t want his dinner to get cold. Whatever the reason…we now let it ring.
I suppose its part of becoming comfortable in my skin. It’s also practicing self-care. The years when my kids were little, were fed by such high stress levels, I was never off duty. I’m changing that now. And it feels great!
Do you always answer your phone?

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33 Comments

  1. Regina L. L. Wells
    January 9, 2016 / 10:40 am

    I rarely, very rarely answer the phone. All of my friends and family know that I subscribe to my mother’s philosophy…I pay for this phone for my convenience, not for yours. LOL! Now, as far as so-called multitasking, I agree with you. I’ve been guilty of it far too long and am putting an end to it as of today. Thank you for posting this!

  2. Susan in NC
    April 29, 2015 / 8:40 am

    I am unplugged when I am at home during the week. My husband and I need those evenings to stay connected and enjoy each other.

    • Jennifer
      April 29, 2015 / 9:07 am

      That makes total sense to me Susan. If we are always plugged into media, it’s hard to stay connected to each other! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Shelley
    August 15, 2013 / 1:07 pm

    I use my mobile to make phone calls, not to be ‘on call’ to everyone. I answer my landline but you’d better speak up quickly because I hang up if I think it’s a call centre or a recording. If I’m in the middle of something I may or may not answer the front door. My friends know the best way to reach me is by email. I have two email accounts – one for friends and one for junk. I pay for all these services – phones, internet, etc., and I use them to suit my own convenience.

  4. August 14, 2013 / 6:21 pm

    I have visited this subject with my children. The “I don’t have to answer the phone unless I want” attitude can be very frustrating. When we cannot talk if they are at work and cannot talk in the evenings that pretty much cuts off all communication. I have turned to brief text messages for most conversations. In our case we use the caller ID to make the decision to answer. If your friends understand then you are home free.

    We do not have a land line in our home. We have saved hundreds of dollars by getting rid of it. I suppose that makes our situation a little different.

    As for the “hub” I think he is going to be all over that concept before long. I know my husband would be!

    Barbara

  5. August 5, 2013 / 5:26 pm

    Wonderful post my dear! I saw your level of cooking on instagram…who would even remember about a phone at your scrumptious table!!

    I don’t answer my phone much unless of course it is family. Most everything I do now is done via text or email.

    So enjoyed this thoughtful post and all of the quality comments it has generated! Kudos dear friend!!

  6. August 4, 2013 / 5:58 pm

    I rarely answer the phone, quite honestly. Partly because my hearing’s not so great, partly because I prefer to vet the calls. At home, I answer if it’s a number I recognize, particularly family. Out, I generally have my cell set on silent, so am unlikely to hear it — instead I check when I have time to call back if messages have been left. Quite honestly, I much prefer text messages or emails — I’d rather save the conversation for when I can have a real face-to-face.

  7. August 3, 2013 / 3:14 pm

    I only give out my home phone number. My cell phone (which I call my “car phone”) is reserved for family. My husband and my children are the only calls I answer and sometimes I take my time with those! I asked my youngest daughter to call a neighbor once and she said she couldn’t because she didn’t have her cell number. I told her to call the home phone and you would have thought I asked her to cut off her arm! “MOTHER! Thats so embarrassing! I’m not going to call her home….what if someone else answers?” Jeez!!

    • August 14, 2013 / 6:23 pm

      Good grief…I had not even thought about that!

    • September 11, 2013 / 4:11 pm

      Hey, me too – “car phone” and/or “communication device”. Hubby and The Kids have recently begun referring to my phone as “Mom’s camera, which is also a phone”.

      P.S. My first time to your blog via a comment you made to “Around The Table”. Thanks for the fun read to this point. I’ll continue reading backwards through your posts as it’s laundry day, I’m around for awhile 🙂

  8. August 3, 2013 / 2:49 am

    I have asked Mr. K. not to bring my cell to me every time he hears the ring tone for someone texting me. He was taken back by my attitude, but I am trying to make him understand that I do not need to be available to people 24/7.I miss the days when we were able to disconnect by simply leaving the house.

    • August 3, 2013 / 2:49 pm

      If its turned off or down, it’s easier to ignore. I like the convenience of having a cell phone, but hate the “always” factor.

  9. vintagefrenchchic
    August 2, 2013 / 7:37 pm

    You are not alone in your views…at all. I don’t answer my phone just because it rings. Half the time I don’t even have the ringer on. I have even considered leaving my cell phone at home, like in the old days of land lines, when I go out. I can retrieve my messages later…the world will not stop if I don’t answer a call right away. My husband is slowly coming around to this way of thinking too but he keeps his on, and answered, way more than I do.

  10. Sue B
    August 2, 2013 / 6:01 pm

    I saw a story on the news a couple of years ago about a teen summer camp that had banned cell phones for the entire two weeks of the campers’ stay. The kids interviewed said they were angry they at first, and then they felt lonely and isolated. (These kids had been used to knowing where their friends were and what they were doing 24 hours a day…they were never out of touch.) Interestingly, all the teens said that after a few days they began to sleep better, they felt less stressed and the feelings of isolation diminished as they engaged more fully with the people they were with.
    As a high school English teacher I see daily how addicted students have become to their phones…and even how my colleagues rush to their phones during a break between classes. And really how many of these texts or messages or calls are actually important? How stressed are we making ourselves by letting the cell phone run our lives? I mean business and personal emergencies aside..do we really have to answer those calls or texts? I applaud your efforts to find some quiet time in your life!

    • vintagefrenchchic
      August 2, 2013 / 7:39 pm

      THAT was interesting…thanks for sharing this!

    • August 3, 2013 / 2:45 pm

      Engaging with who you are actually with, is becoming a lost art! You see a restaurant table filled with family members, and they’re all on their phones. Texting, emailing, some even talking on it. Why bother to go out at all?

  11. August 2, 2013 / 5:38 pm

    WE HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM IN THIS HOUSE!HE CANNOT LET THE PHONE JUST RING!WE FINALLY GOT NEW PHONES A FEW MONTHS AGO AND IT TELLS US NOW WHO IS CALLING……SO THAT HELPS AS IT IS A VOICE ANNOUNCING THE CALLER!ONCE THE BOYS LEFT WE HAD NO CALLS!THEN THE “SALES” CALLS KEPT COMING…….DROVE ME NUTS.ESPECIALLY THE CALLS TO REDUCE YOUR HOUSE PAYMENTS!WHERE DO THEY GET THEIR INFO!WE HAVENOT HAD A MORGAGE IN YEARS!!!!!!ANYWAY, HUSBAND HAS HIS PHONE TO HIS BELT ALL DAY LONG!(HE IS IN CONSTRUCTION)AND WILL NOT MISS A CALL……….I CANT TELL YOU HOW ANNOYED I GET HE ISNOT IN THE HOUSE ONE MINUTE AND IT RINGS, DINNER WELL THATS A GIVEN A WORKER BEE WHO NEEDS TO KNOW THE PLAN FOR TOMORROW!AFTER DINNER IS USUALLY A SON SO THATS OKAY!I’M WITH YOU………..AND WHAT GETS ME IS ONES FRIENDS ARE ANNOYED IF THEY CANNOT FIND YOU AT HOME OR ON THE CELL!(YOU CAN TELL BY THE TONE OF THE MESSAGE!)I LIKED IT SO MUCH BETTER WHEN WE JUST HAD A LAND LINE!!!!!!REALLY!GOOD TOPIC!

  12. Coulda shoulda woulda
    August 2, 2013 / 10:32 am

    The phone is for your convenience – not anyone else’s. If it was an emergency they would have texted you. I can’t bear the phone to be honest – a phone ringing is just cacophony to me now…I feel so sorry for people who are so attached to their phone. But people look at me like I am strange when I express my views on it!

  13. August 2, 2013 / 5:10 pm

    I used to answer my cell phone at all hours but like you I had to step back, especially in the evening. It seemed like it was ringing all the time, couldn’t handle it anymore. If I was in an office, you would walk away for lunch and at the end of the day, so why not in a virtual office? I had already stopped answering my cell when I was out shopping or running errands, so it was an easy transition for me to stop picking up in the evening too!

    • August 3, 2013 / 2:41 pm

      That’s my next step, turning it off when I’m out running errands.

  14. August 2, 2013 / 4:40 pm

    I rarely answer the phone – home or cell – because most people I communicate with do it via email, Facebook or texting. I don’t really enjoy talking on the phone anymore and there was a time when I LOVED it. Curious.

    I am a terrible multi-tasker. I need to do one thing at a time. I read somewhere recently that it’s actually not a good thing for our brains when we multi-task.

    • August 2, 2013 / 4:47 pm

      A study at Stanford found that multitaskers were much more distractable and had shorter attention spans.

  15. August 2, 2013 / 3:44 pm

    Nope. In fact, hardly anyone calls the landline anymore. On the show Cougar Town there was a scene where the home phone rang and they all stared at it, afraid to touch it. Hilarious. I like your attitude. Thanks for this post and the reminder that it isn’t cool to multi-task.

  16. August 2, 2013 / 3:09 pm

    I agree I don’t take calls in the evenings unless I know it might be an emergency. I need my wind down time otherwise my mind will keep racing in the night.

  17. August 2, 2013 / 2:41 pm

    I truly would love to develop you attitude, but it is not possible at this present time. I am tethered to a phone I’m afraid. It is just where my life is operating at the time. No one calls my home phone, with the exception of one person, other than telemarketers and I never answer. Have a wonderful weekend. Bonnie

  18. August 2, 2013 / 9:33 am

    Jennifer, when I left my job, I went through serious crackberry withdrawal – I used to get 200 emails a day, 100 of which I actually had to respond to or address in some way. It took me 2 months to stop looking. Now I have a cellphone and only about 6 people have the number. I never feel any pressure at all to look at. It is so freeing, isn’t it, to just live? Husband struggles a bit like your husband, but that is probably all those years as police chief!

  19. August 2, 2013 / 8:55 am

    I love that you have this attitude. Why should we jump to make someone calling us more important that what we have going on right in front of us. I try to prioritize the calls I answer but don’t always succeed, you wrote such a good reminder!

    • August 2, 2013 / 4:49 pm

      It’s hard to get over the knee jerk reaction to answer every ringing phone, but well worth the effort.

  20. August 2, 2013 / 2:52 am

    I have call display so NO!
    We get too many calls trying to sell us something…or take part in a survey. I am so doe with those intrusions.
    Good to know that we are on the same page 🙂

  21. August 2, 2013 / 2:33 am

    Bravo, Jennifer. You already know my feelings on the subject — they exactly parallel your own. Once I start cooking, the phone (land line or cell) does not get answered until after we’ve enjoyed our dinner and done the dishes. Evenings are our time to be together as a family. Accessibility 24/7 is not only overrated but unhealthy. Frenchwomen know when to be unavailable. It keeps them grounded.

  22. August 2, 2013 / 2:14 am

    Absolutely not. I glance at the name/number and think I’ll get back to you later, I’ve got a sick mouse here!

    xo Jane

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