I’m writing this as my 10 month old plays at my feet while watching the clock until I need to shower and race out the door. Am I distracted? Absolutely. A little stressed? Sure. Is this real life? Of course.
By now most of us have heard that multitasking is not that great for our brains or our well-being. Studies have found that multitasking may actually damage the brain, decreases our productivity and attention to detail, and leaves us feeling stressed and even unhappy. So here we are at another crossroads between knowing and doing. Because let's be honest, how on earth do we get anything done as mothers and NOT multitask at some point?
I am a ridiculously erratic multitasker. And now with two kids and a growing business, I find myself constantly slammed with demands and distractions. And I certainly don’t like the way I feel when I’m multitasking- so I’m working on it.
I’ve been practicing doing just one thing at a time lately, and it’s helping. It’s helping me slow down, to focus, and to set boundaries with myself and my family. And that right there is self-care.
If you, like me, often find yourself battling overwhelm and multitasking, these suggestions are for you. And if you are a master of your time, and are able to move through your day with ease, calm, and productivity, I salute you. It is my goal to get there too.
Awareness is always the first step in making lifestyle changes. We have to be aware of what we’re doing before we can do it differently. Take notice of when you’re multitasking. What does it feel like in your body? Is this what you want?
Take a Pause
When you notice yourself wound up and doing too many things at once, take a pause. Stop, inhale, exhale, and ask, “What is most important right now?” Then do that one thing.
Use a Timer
Whether it’s on your phone or other device, using a timer, even for 2 minutes, helps to focus on the task at hand. Using a timer is a powerful way to condition your brain to do just one thing at a time. Start small and appreciate those baby steps!
Just say No
In order to be masters of our time and energy (precious resources), we have to become masterful at saying no. Only we know what a “yes” or “no” is for us. Take a pause before committing to an activity or responsibility. “Thank you for asking and I’ll get back to you” is a powerful statement, and allows us the time to reflect on our time and energy before making a new commitment.
Undoing patterns of distraction takes time and practice, but is well worth the effort. Let’s be kind to ourselves as we learn to do better together.