I finally realized multitasking was a waste of time. Taking this shortcut fooled me into feeling I could really accomplish more. Paradoxically not so, as chapter 48 hints, One does less and less until one does nothing at all, and when one does nothing at all there is nothing that is undone. More importantly, the divided attention of multitasking makes nigh impossible chapter 64’s advice… Be as careful at the end as at the beginning, And there will be no ruined enterprises .
It isn’t learning or an epiphany that accounts for this realization. Mostly, it is due to becoming older and having less energy to chase after desires as I could in my youth. Wisdom comes when folly takes too much energy.
However, one area of multitasking does pay off, if you call maintaining good posture multitasking. ‘Right’ posture keeps me grounded throughout all the day’s activities. The photo above shows a version of beneficial multitasking. Here I’m drying off after a bath and training balance simultaneously (1). Balance becomes increasingly problematic as we age, so I’d be wise to do what I can to slow down its gradual, inevitable decline.
Sitting on the floor, erect with a forward bend or other yoga like stretching, offsets various drawbacks of a more sedentary activity. In the photo, I am flossing my teeth, reading Science News, and bending forward. I’m doing three activities simultaneously and additively and neither interferes with the other.
This kind of multitasking is likely additive because the activities arise from a desire to do my duty vis-à-vis my body, and not from transient pleasure or goal oriented desires. This is as Buddha’s Fourth Truth advises, “… There is salvation for him whose self disappears before truth, whose will is bent on what he ought to do, whose sole desire is the performance of his duty… ”. Performing a duty to body is an existential duty. Mother Nature smiles upon that!
(1) The smiley face is my son Kyle’s creation. I am surprised how rule abiding my sons are, given my lack of this. To see a humorous take on this, watch from minute 5:10 on YouTube [AB #16: now with 30% more bloginess!]