Happy Tuesday! Our society has portrayed multitasking as a badge of honor with a clear message: do more things at the same time to be a superwoman. Sorry to burst your bubble, but multitasking is a sham. It sounds impressive at first, but it becomes exhausting, ineffective, and defeating after attempting to do it all at once.
Our brains aren’t designed to multitask; they are designed to do one thing at a time. We can switch to another task quickly, which triggers the brain’s start and stop process. That takes energy and focus, which is why multitasking can lead to more stress in the end. Multitasking is a “quantity over quality” mentality. Have you ever experienced frustration after trying to do several things at once? How effective were you? Are you even aware of how that drains your focus and energy?
One day a handful of summers ago, I was in the kitchen taking out a burrito from the freezer to warm up for my son. The next thing I knew 15 minutes later, the burrito was missing. Without being aware of what I was doing, I realized that in that short amount of time, I had answered the phone, switched out a load of laundry, and put the dog out while my son waited for his burrito. Thinking back to that time frame, it was a blur. I hadn’t really concentrated on one thing, so I hadn’t even done one thing completely before adding in another task. I thought I was checking items off my to-do list like a pro, so what happened? By the way, I found the unthawed burrito in the kitchen drawer with our keys several hours later. I guess I had tried to do something else at that time, too. LESSON LEARNED.
So, I’ve been kinder to myself by trying to do one thing at a time thoroughly before moving on to the next task. Honestly, it requires retraining and a lot of patience. Practice makes it better, not perfect! This week, I challenge you to be kinder to yourself (and your brain) by doing one thing at a time. Be more mindful and present and see how that feels! What happens as a result? I’d love to hear what you discover! Also, I do recommend the book The Twelve Monotasks by Thatcher Wine. It is an easy read and helps you to stop and think about this new habit.
You’ve got this!