FRAZIER: Battling OA and the multitasking menace

Published 4:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2022

A few weeks ago, I began doing a smidge of remodeling on the house.

I put in some wood floors to replace the three-decades-old carpet and because the house is topsy turvy, my brain has been seeming to have a mind of its own. It’s like I have ADHD, OCD and every other acronymous disorder all rolled into one making me feel a bit befuddled and confused.

Truth be told, it’s probably just OA – Old Age.

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When I was younger, it seemed like I could accomplish 15 things at one time without having a scattered brain.

Sure, I was tired after a day of carpooling, cooking, cleaning and doing all the other little nuisances that come with being a mother of four, but my brain seemed intact. And while it was, I have found out that multitasking may not be that advantageous.

While perusing the Internet in my attempt to self-diagnose my disorderly mind, I came across an interesting article at bbc.com entitled “You probably suffer from scattered brain syndrome.”

Just call me Dr. Terri.

The article, written by Renuka Rayasam in 2016, suggests multitasking can make you less effective. In fact, researchers stated you can actually get more done if you stay focused on a single task.

The reason, they say, is because our brains were designed to only do one thing at a time.

“When we think we are multitasking, we’re really not. Instead, as far as our brains are concerned, we are fully switching back and forth between tasks.”

And here is the real kicker. The article says multitasking can lower cognitive ability.

I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t need the intellect to decline.

In addition to developing brain fog, multitasking can also cause other issues.

In Rayasam’s article, Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas said, “Multitasking produces shallower thinking, reduces creativity, increases errors and lowers our ability to block irrelevant information, which over time can heighten levels of stress and depression and lower overall intellectual capacity.”

We live in a technology-driven society and unfortunately, multitasking seems to be interconnected. How we decide to manage it will factor into our future.

And our youth will need guidance, be it by example or teaching, on how to let their brains rest on one thing at a time.

So, after pondering on this one issue, I am thinking having OA may not be so dreadful.

Maybe the old adage is true, and wisdom does come with age. And in my case, I didn’t even realize it. It seems my brain’s autopilot has been trying to steer me in a healthier direction all along.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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