Why is it we women pride ourselves in being good at multi-tasking? Sure, I get it; life is so full that we have to be on the alert to all that was/is/will be/may be/should be/could be.
But sometimes it’s important to just
be present in the NOW.
Once, on the first day of one of my writing classes, the teacher walked into the room and said, “Hello, everyone. Your first assignment is to describe what you noticed as you walked in the door of the building and found your way to this classroom.”
Almost everyone froze. Noticed? Along the way? We were ready to write creative stories or funny experiences, not what we noticed. We soon realized why she had asked.*
When was the last time you noticed – really noticed – what you were doing when you were doing it? Sure, you can watch the football game and brush the dog, or be on a conference call and file papers but is anything going to be done well? And how’s your anxiety level when you put papers in the wrong place or miss the play of the game?
I have several suggestions for you to help control the multi-tasking. And they actually have the great side effect of helping you relax as you become more present in the present.
But first, a “TO DO reminder” for handling your TO DO list:
Make each day’s list with the understanding that if not all of it gets done, you will catch up tomorrow
(Last time I checked, there were no medals being awarded to the person who does the most in a day.)
- Slow down. Whatever you are doing, slow down. How many times have you made mistakes because you were doing something too fast – driving/talking/typing an email, etc. Spell check will not take control if you just reread the email.
- Delegate some of the ‘to do’ items to others. Picking up the cleaning is certainly something someone else can handle. Ask.
- Take a little time each day for yourself. Here’s where I’m going to give a plug to meditation. No repeating mantras or sitting cross-legged on the floor. In fact, I really like an app that guides you – for only eight minutes a day. It involves simply sitting in a chair, concentrating on your breathing, and controlling your thoughts. It’s called HEADSPACE. Go to the App Store, and get it on your phone. That way you are always ready to ‘take eight’ and relax. And, by the way, there is no right way to meditate. Try it, and reap the rewards.
So whether you call it multitasking or task switching, it’s time for women to brag about something else! Any suggestions?
*Good writers notice things. When the writing class traced our steps back to the entry, we found we had walked past a blue bicycle leaning against a wall, a roped-off side hallway, a row of hooks with two sweaters, and a children’s bathroom in which low sinks were easily visible! None of us noticed any of it.
Photo credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / HaywireMedia