We convince ourselves that we are really good at getting many things done at the same time. There is this sense of pride in saying that I am really good at multitasking. What you are really saying is that you cannot focus on one task singlehandedly and single-mindedly to give it my full attention and do my best.
When we multitask we scatter our energy among those tasks. We are semi-listening, we are semi-aware of what we are typing (sometimes to the point that you start typing what you are hearing), checking our phones at the same time while planning in our mind what we are going to say to the person talking instead of fully listening.
With multitasking, the underlying message is one that says I am not in control of my time and that time is controlling me. Also, multitasking implies that any single task (including the person who is speaking to you) is not worthy of your full attention. And let me say this, no one wants to be controlled by time or think that nothing is worth having their full attention. It also leads to overwhelm, stress and anxiety. No body needs that.
So, what the solution?
Mindfulness! and Planning!
- Doing one task at a time so you can do it well and quicker
- Be present and give the task/person your full attention
- Breathe – very important to centre yourself and gather your energy
- Plan your day (the night before) – so you control your time
- Plan your week, your month and your years – it helps you stay on course
- Commit to finishing your tasks, finish one before starting the next one
- Turn off the notifications on your phone (they are mostly distractions)
And MEDITATE – make yourself a priority and find time to just sit and be. Your mind will thank you for it.