Multitasking vs. Mindfulness

What You Need:


What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to take out their pen, and give them the Mindfulness = Less Mistakes, Less Time, and More Calm worksheet.
  2. Tell them that you're going to give them a task, which they'll have 30 seconds to complete.
  3. Following the directions on the worksheet, ask your child to write "I am a good multitasker," and the numbers 1–20. Set the timer, and have them begin.
  4. Tell them when 10, 20, and 30 seconds have passed. Have them stop at 30 seconds.
  5. Tell them that they're going to do this again, but this time they will multitask.
  6. Ask them to alternate between writing the statement "I am a good multitasker," and the numbers 1–20. On the top line, they should write "I." Then, "1" on the bottom line, "a" on the top line, "2" on the bottom line, "m" on the top line, "3" on the bottom line, etc.
  7. Tell them to begin, and set the timer for 30 seconds.
  8. Again, have them stop after 30 seconds have passed.
  9. Ask your child the following questions:
    1. Was the second time more stressful?
    2. Did it take more time to complete the second round?
    3. What was the comparison in mistakes between the first and second rounds?
  10. Tell them that researchers have proven that multitasking stresses us out, makes us take longer in completing tasks, and causes us to make more mistakes.
  11. Ask your learner, "What can help us slow down and focus on one thing at a time?"
  12. Explain to them that mindfulness can help us focus on the present moment with kind attention, so that we make less mistakes, take less time, and feel more calm.
  13. Guide them through a mindfulness exercise:
    1. Ask them to come to stillness and take a few deep breaths. Tell them to feel their breath as it moves.
    2. Have them feel their hands by their sides.
    3. Invite them to take their pen and write about their day for five minutes. Remind them to do so with mindfulness, focusing on one thing at a time.
  14. After your child has mindfully reflected for five minutes, ask them what they notice and how they feel.
  15. How would they compare multitasking with mindfulness? Which helps us be more productive and calm?

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