The skill you need to perfect NOW

Sarah StudebakerEver have those days where you feel like you’re just running in circles but never really getting anywhere?  Ever feel like a head-less chicken?  Or maybe like you’re go-go-going all day long but never really feel that sense of accomplishment?  I know I have those days, like, almost everyday!  One skill has helped me to slow down, focus, be present, and enjoy life a little more.  What is this skill, you ask.  Well, I’ve taken to calling it single-tasking, that is to say, the opposite of multi-tasking.  Yes, multi-tasking is usually regarded as a good thing.  I even bragged about my multi-tasking skills in past resumes and cover letters, thinking it was a necessary and appealing quality of all productive human beings.  It’s taken me a LONG time to realize that multi-tasking may help to cross items off of my to-do list but it can prevent me from being present and enjoying the moment.

Rather than being with my kids while I simultaneously make lunch and check my email, maybe I can just BE with them.  When I’m getting in my daily yoga routine while also mentally adding things to my to-do list and answering questions thrown at me from another room, maybe I can just BE with my practice.  Wouldn’t single-tasking make these things infinitely more enjoyable?  It definitely does in my world.

Another way of looking at it is quality over quantity- an old saying that rings true with more elements in my life each year.  When my days are filled with quality time doing things I love with those I love, it’s OK that the quantity of things I did that day may fall a little short, because there are always more things to do when you live in a go-go-go mentality.

Here are my tips to master single-tasking-

  • Write down your to-do list.  When it’s on paper (or on your phone), you can let yourself forget about it.
  • Plan your day.  Know what you’re eating and prep it.  Know when you yoga time is and do it.
  • Just breathe, as Eddie Vedder says.  Take a few deep breaths, exhales away stress, and focus on the activity at hand.

Only doing one thing at a time is a wonderful luxury.  I know that there are certain things that have to get done everyday, many of which aren’t enjoyable.  But taking time in those things that do bring you pleasure, and not ruining them with multi-tasking through them, is a skill that is a joy to practice.  Single-tasking has brought more joy to my daily life as I’m sure it will bring to yours as well.

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2 responses to “The skill you need to perfect NOW”

  1. Shannon says:

    I love the idea of embracing this new single-tasking! Thanks Sarah – it was needed today 🙂

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