Benefit of coloring:  Focused Concentration

Ever heard of the term background tasking?   

A few years ago I read a book called “The Myth of Multitasking” by Crenshaw.  I realized how cheated I was thinking I could effectively do many things at once.  As a side note I also discovered the valuable tool called back tasking.  

I once had the opportunity to teach at a private school called the Kimber Academy.  There I learned the wonderful principle of involving multiple senses to help children increases learning.  

Background Tasking in a Nutshell

Unlike switch tasking where we focus on one thing, then the next at different instances, background tasking allows you to do two things at the same time, and increase your ability to focus.  Background tasks require no conscious thought, and often involves moving. For example, for me, when I listen to a confrence talk, a podcast, or any audio learning recording,  I make sure I have something else I can do that doesn’t require thinking, and I cannot believe how much my focus, attention, and retention increases.  I have never learned so much as I do when I background task in that situation. 

Here are a few examples of what I mean:

background tasking examples:

  1. Shoveling dirt.
  2. Sweeping, mopping a floor.
  3. Washing dishes.
  4. Classical music, or music I don’t know the words to.
  5. Coloring in the lines, etc.

Switch tasking examples:

  1. Anything that demands conscious thought and attention, even for a moment.
  2. Music I know the words to, and start singing in my head.
  3. Organizing a room (garage, bedroom, storage…)
  4. Drawing your own image.  


Action/ Invite:

Try this today.  Select something you want to learn, a talk, etc.  Then decide what background task would work and not command your conscious thought.  


How much more or less were you able to focus on learning, and why?