Going the distance

Mobile multitasking: A cautionary tale

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. March 12, 2015

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If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
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    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

We all remember these wise words from childhood: Haste makes waste. A stitch in time saves nine. For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, and so on. So why don't we follow the advice? Are we slow learners?

Maybe, but what I know for sure is that the world isn't as simple as it once was. We're blessed and cursed by technology. The digital world offers more resources but also more hassles. One of my pet peeves is the reminders that arrive every so many months to change your passcode and password. Irritating, right? Right!

While on a bus between hospitals, I thought I would save some time and change my passcode. This is the number that unlocks my device. I'm not quite certain what I did but as the bus hit several bumps I somehow locked myself out of my device. This was a major nuisance since I was on a hospital rotation and needed to access patient information via my device.

It took me considerable time to connect with the appropriate tech people, who were gracious in helping me and didn't beat me up. The problem got fixed and life went on as usual.

I guess I needed to be reminded that I shouldn't try to do more than one thing at a time, especially when technology is involved. Now this was a minor inconvenience, but obviously it could've been something far more serious.

It behooves us to remember that when we're tired, frustrated or distracted, we make mistakes. Slow down. Focus. Take your time. And at the end of the day, you'll be saner, happier.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

March 12, 2015