Rationally I know that multitasking is bad, but I feel this constant drive to get more done and on the surface it seems that by doing several things at once I can reach that goal. Also combining something boring (like cleaning) with something more fun (like listening to a podcast) makes it seem possible to squeeze some enjoyment into any task however tedious.
Lately however, I realised that I was having major concentration problems and often I actually didn’t fully enjoy the fun thing because I wasn’t really focussed on it. More frightening was that I could tell I was numbing, multitasking is a way to automatically fill the void, where otherwise my thoughts would rush around my brain like it was a pinball machine, triggering fears, desires and anxiety all over the place.
This voice inside me kept pulling at my sleeve and pointing out that I was craving quiet, long stretches of uninterruped silence, away from the busy-ness so I could have space to make some sense of my thoughts. So I have decided to test whether making a conscious effort to mindfully do one thing at a time will allow my thoughts have more space to roam free and be heard.
These are the daily activities I want to focus on by single-tasking:
- drinking my coffee (without journalling at the same time)
- talking with Paolo (without my phone or computer nearby, ready to switch focus)
- working on one thing at a time until it is finished (without stopping as soon as it gets hard to pick up a shiny new task)
- cleaning (without listening to a podcast)
- doing the dishes (without talking on the phone)
- writing a blog post (without interrupting the flow to consult other internet pages)
- cooking (without a TED video on in the background)
- going for a walk (without taking pictures… well I might still multitask sometimes on this one, as I still want a few nice photos to illustrate these posts 😉
I’ll write about whether I notice any effects in a follow-up post after experimenting for some time.
Tell me, what activities do you make a conscious effort to single-task on?