by Kris Pitcher
I was sitting on the toilet first thing one morning trying to put on my sports bra and shorts...and it dawned on me. You cannot truly multi-task. It isn't possible.
You're either doing one thing, or you're doing another. You're not really doing both. I couldn't pee and put my bra on. TMI? Sorry, but you see my point?
To my credit, 4:30 a.m. is an early, and confusing, time. It just makes sense to empty your bladder and get your workout clothes on at the same time. Doesn't it?
Anyway, it got me thinking about our true capabilities to multi-task. We really think we're doing two things at once. We aren't. We're texting, and nodding our head. But we're not hearing the person who's talking to us.
Teenagers are a good example of this. They only do one thing at a time...if anything. It's all they can focus on. We should take a lesson. The point is the focus.
When we focus on one thing. We are doing only that one thing. Trying to do several things at once dilutes each of those things and none of them get accomplished with much efficiency or proficiency.
We'd all save ourselves a lot of time if we'd just complete one task, and then move on to the next task. As I found becoming tangled in my sports bra. Finish one thing...and move on to the next thing.
I notice this when I'm "cleaning" the house. I get all distracted by picking things up and putting them away. Pretty soon I'm working on another project in another room and I'm wondering, "How'd I even get in here?!" I was cleaning in the kitchen?
We need to focus on one room...then move to the next. Complete one task. See? We can't truly do multiple things at one time. Not really. We've fooled ourselves into thinking we can.
This brings me to one of my exercise pet peeves. When you have general fitness goals, "multi-tasking" is fine. But when you have anything specific you are trying to accomplish, you need to be doing specific things to get to that goal. (Psst: It's called specificity.)
You can't take a body pump class to build muscle and get on stage as a competitor. Just an example, take no offense. Those classes are built around endurance, high repetition, and low weight designed to recruit a certain muscle fiber type. This kind of recruitment will make you look a certain way.
That type of multi-tasking is for the general fitness person looking to build their cardio capacity and muscular endurance. There's nothing wrong with that, when that is your goal.
Think about how your workouts are designed and if you're trying to work in a lot of multi-tasking when you should be doing more specific things. Depending on your goals, this means a little more time in the gym. You've got to break out your cardio, and your lifting. For example.
The benefit when we focus is faster results. I can pee faster if I just pee. And I can put my bra on faster if I just put on my bra. Focus for faster results and take a look at how you're doing with multi-tasking in your life. I think we'll all get more done!