I used to multi-task with a flourish, proudly boasting about how much I could do at one time. Trust me, I had mad skills that would have enthralled circus-goers or at the very least gotten a round of polite applause. I had perfected the art of feeding my dogs while making my children’s lunches during which time I would make notes about my latest blog ideas and simultaneously answer emails. And yet, this is why I dumped multi-tasking.
I had reached the tipping point, that boiling over crazy zone when I forgot to do things that should never be forgotten. Shhh, don’t spread this around, but one day I actually forgot to pick up my youngest from school. I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I pretended to be my twin sister when I received a disapproving stare from the school office attendant. Note: I don’t have a twin sister.
So I started to wonder if I wouldn’t be better off with more focus. I realized that I should put the lessons I learn in my yoga practice into practice with regards to the rest of my life. In short, I was going to strive to “be present.” That’s yoga-speak for choosing to dump multi-tasking.
And guess what? I haven’t found that I accomplish less in the day. The kids’ lunches still get made. The dogs get fed, although they wait until after sack lunches are set aside. My emails are answered and I have more time for reading my clients’ work since I only check those emails once an hour rather than jump to them every time my computer dings.
Most importantly, my writing is at the forefront of my mind when I’m at my computer. I focus solely on my project and allow my other responsibilities to get that same attention… when it’s their time. I’m not talking about locking yourself in a room for hours, ignoring family and everything else. I’m merely suggesting that when you sit down to write, give yourself that period of time, whatever you deem reasonable, and focus solely on the writing task.
Develop More Focus
With more focus and less multi-tasking I’m also calmer and better suited to tackle the more challenging aspects of my job. (Ever try to read a legal contract while doing squats? I wouldn’t suggest it.)
If you’re a multi-tasker, why not jot down your must-do jobs and then systematically tackle each one — separately. I bet you’ll end your week with a clean slate and a fresh outlook.