Do you multi-task? For many, many years, multi-tasking was the only way I could survive being a single mom, caring for elderly parents, running a business, and volunteering. It was my jam! It was what made me tick! It was my pride and joy!
Until it wasn't...
Recently, and most likely because my son is starting college and our dynamic is changing, I began looking at how I approach my life. Not my life as a mom and the head of the household. My life as me, Jane.
Three things happened.
In March I began a daily meditation practice through the app Calm. At first it was hard just to do 10 minutes of guided meditation, but I persevered and am now up to 30 minutes a day of straight up meditation. Giving my monkey brain the opportunity to reset has been such a gift! I think differently. I am less reactive. I sleep better. I have more energy. And, I have stronger sense of who I am. Not who I was, but who I am NOW.
Which then led me to the next thing. I decided I no longer needed my signature long, dark, wavy hair. So my stylist Theresa suggested I layer it to above my shoulders and lighten the color up. You know how it is. Sometimes you've got to shake things up! The last time I did this was after my son was born! Hmmmmm... Think they're related? Yeah, me too.
I also began to take a critical look at my multi-tasking habit and why it wasn't as satisfying a life mode as it used to be. For starters, my life is simpler. I'm no longer caring for frail, elderly parents. My work schedule is flexible. And best of all, my son is no longer a little boy! He's 18 and shares the responsibility of running our home.
I also became aware that I rarely got tasks fully completed. This led me to feel like I never got anything truly done. Oh sure, I'd get most of it done. Say, cleaning the kitchen while making dinner. I would load the dishwasher and wipe the counters. But there were still pots and pans that needed to be hand washed and the floor to be swept. And the counters would need to be wiped down again because I was cooking as I was cleaning. And I still had to make a salad - and who wants to sweep floors or wash pots when you need to make a salad..? So I'd blow it off, even though I could tell it bugged me.
Here's the thing. When I was in all those years of survival mode, half doing was good enough. But does it work for me now?
So I made a pact with myself, similar to what I did when I started meditating.
I decided to focus on ONE task at a time and see it through to completion. And here's what I have observed: Getting things done and without the distraction of multi-tasking feels good! It essentially takes the same amount of time but doesn't feel one tenth as frantic.