Single- or Multi-Tasking?

I’ve noticed that my attention span seems to be decreasing.  Even when I’m reading a book, I can’t help but keep my phone nearby “just in case” I get an important text message, e-mail, etc.  Let’s be real – I don’t have anything that urgent I need to check on where I can’t set aside a solid half hour or more to immerse myself in a book.  However, I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve really lost focus lately – even with a good book!  :-/

I’m not going to point my finger at technology, as I am definitely a user and consumer of technology and love many of its efficiencies and benefits.  However, if I take a step back, I wonder whether I always need to be “connected” and whether I am really more efficient when I am multi-tasking and checking e-mail, listening to a podcast, and bouncing back and forth with text messages at the same time.  Probably not…  It got me thinking about single-taking versus multi-tasking.  It seems like there quite a few thoughts and articles on this topic as of late, and I keep hearing the benefits of taking time to single-task, which creates more mindfulness and awareness.

In a society where we are “on” 24×7, I think it really becomes challenging and more of an effort to single-task and focus on one thing.  Given my recent lack of focus, I am going to challenge myself to single-tasking and try to be more present and “in the moment” which each thing I do, whether it be the mundane like folding laundry to the more important things like a chat over coffee with a friend, or when escaping in a good book.  Anyone else out there encountering similar challenges?