This post by Chie Davis originally appeared in Upworthy on May 28, 2015.
I thought I was the only one who composed tweets in my head on a daily basis. Turns out, I’m not alone.
Musician and poet Propaganda admits to having the same thought process. In a spoken-word piece called “Be Present” originally posted by Humble Beast, he confessed, “I tend to think of life in terms of movie clips or tweetable moments. Somehow, I’ve convinced myself they last longer that way.”
The L.A.-based rapper and husband explained how thinking that way caused a rift with his wife.
He zoned out on Twitter during a conversation that they had, and she responded by giving him the silent treatment.
“I was too busy in my head composing a tweet where I would quote her with some sort clever hashtag about marriage and about how much I love her to be paying attention to her at that moment,” Propaganda said.
That’s when he knew he had a problem. But it wasn’t about social media.
It was about his pattern of not staying focused during their conversations. Whether it be posting status updates, multitasking, or even being distracted by a cutie patootie pet, lots of folks can relate. Propaganda’s dad got to the root of the issue while giving his son some advice.
He said that life is all about maximizing time by leveraging our presence.
When we obsess about our past, future, or even try to take advantage of hours by multitasking, it actually sucks away valuable time. He likened it to starting the day “frustrated ’cause you can’t find your keys. Focused on the meetings you’re going to miss and the traffic you’re going to sit in to realize you’ve been holding your keys the whole time. Slow down.”
Making a conscious decision to focus on one conversation at a time and single-task is not only good for our relationships, but also better for our brains.
According to research, only 2% of people are actually good multitaskers. Despite our own judgment, we’re actually 40% less productive when we try to juggle multiple tasks at once. Some studies even suggest that certain types of multitasking can lead to a 10-point drop in one’s IQ.
A productivity expert in Forbes points out, “It has been scientifically demonstrated that the brain cannot effectively or efficiently switch between tasks, so you lose time. It takes four times longer to recognize new things so you’re not saving time; multitasking actually costs time.”
In a fast-paced era when the average married couple only spends about two and a half hours per day together during the week, we need a reminder of how important it is to be fully engaged with those we love.
As Propaganda further reflected on his father’s relationship advice, what he says about developing mindfulness around time is incredibly valuable.
“You’d better keep her on your side. She will slip through your fingers like sand. Her name is Time, and she told me a secret. She said multitasking is a myth. … And she begged me to stop stretching her thin and stuffing her full and stop being so concerned with the old her and future her but love her now.”
Yay! Two snaps for poetic, science-based knowledge!