Why You Should Eat Lunch While You Read This

You will die someday.

This is a very well-known fact. It is a fact that is not, perhaps, easily accepted by all of the "you"s that are out there. Nevertheless, it is a fact that has been proven for generations, and based on this track record, you can be certain it will be proven again.

The question then remains...well, there are many questions that remain. One of them is, what to do with the time you now know you have in limited quantities? (Hopefully you knew that before now, when you're eating lunch and reading this. If you didn't, you might be about to prove the aforementioned fact a lot sooner than you otherwise would have, due to a condition known as heart failure. But I digress.) Well, that question has many answers and I will not try to cover them all here. However, I will say that, in light of the limited quantities of time you have, you ought to pack as much into that time as you can so it's worth something. Then, I will further say that one facet of packing as much as possible into that limited time has a name: multitasking!

Why should you multitask? That, at least, has a simple answer: because all of us have to spend a lot of time doing things that we really don't want to do, but that are necessary for living. For example: driving, brushing your teeth, eating lunch, standing in line, waiting for your ride, and so on. (Doing homework does not count. Sorry.) It's easy to excuse these activities because they are, after all, necessary. But hasn't the question, "Couldn't I be doing something more worthwhile right now?" ever crossed your mind during such activities?

You could dispense with these activities altogether, but this would have far-reaching, unforeseen, and potentially harmful consequences, including but not limited to: no education, no social life, rotting teeth, lack of social skills, bad breath, hunger, premature death.

Thus, multitasking presents itself as a viable solution. How to multitask? Simple: combine essential, worthwhile activities and get double the sizzle for your seconds. (Or, double the madness for your minutes. Or, double the handiness for your hours. In short, more.) Practically, here are some examples.
  • You are standing in line in the grocery store. DO: Strike up a conversation with a fellow shopper; review your checkbook register; call or text a friend or family member. DO NOT: thumb through "People" magazine (this does not qualify as an essential or particularly worthwhile activity.)
  • You are brushing your teeth. DO: something that involves your free hand. Personally, I like reading. It sounds weird and looks funny, but not only are you productively multitasking, you brush your teeth longer without realizing it. DO NOT: try to pick your outfit for tomorrow (this is virtually impossible with only one hand and ends up being "interrupted-tasking".)
  • You are driving. DO: listen to quality music; listen to a book on tape; pray for someone who needs it; intentionally admire God's creation; think deeply about a certain issue; talk to a passenger. DO NOT: be on your cell phone (this is a bad idea and illegal some places. Getting a ticket is certainly not an essential activity.)
  • You are a passenger. DO: read; talk to the driver; write; catch up on sleep; get inspired by the vistas you are passing. DO NOT: stare out the window, vaguely thinking, "I should do something..."
  • You are waiting for your ride. DO: review your notes for history class; talk to your mom; pray that your ride learns time management skills. DO NOT: tap your foot and stare at the clock. This accomplishes absolutely nothing. I speak from experience.
  • You are watching a movie you like, but have seen many times. DO: knit; cross-stitch; crochet; stretch; cook; scrapbook. DO NOT: chew your fingernails.
  • You are eating lunch. DO: have a quality conversation with a friend or family member; read if you are alone; study for an upcoming test; read blog posts. DO NOT: chew and talk at the same time.
  • You are exercising. DO: exercise with a friend or family member; listen to quality music; listen to a book on tape; admire God's creation if you're outside; pray. DO NOT: think of how much you hate this.
  • You have a free afternoon with "nothing to do". DO: make a to-do list, because you most certainly have something to do. If you really can't think of something, ask a friend or family member if they need help with a project. (Yeah, now you come up with something.) DO NOT: do nothing.
After all this, you may assume that I am a hater of free time. On the contrary - free time is something I cherish, on the rare occasion that it pops up. But, I can say from experience that free time is a lot more enjoyable when it actually is free - without those annoying little tasks that could be combined with something else to save time. So, multi-task! Make the most of the time you have, and spend the most time investing in things that will last past that time. That's the most important thing to keep in mind.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a sandwich to polish off.