Taking up from where I left off in Part 1 of this post , let’s talk about being ‘present’ through all those situations that beg for multitasking in our lives.
It is a fact that we cannot really do two things at a time, because our brains have different paths for different tasks. So imagine a situation where two tasks have to share the same path – answering your phone even as you try to compose that important email – obviously one task must be put on hold while the other gets done.
It is a really bad idea to try to focus on too many things at once – because we end up not doing justice to any of them. Which is why it is important to be present in whatever we are doing.
How? Here are some tips:
- Stop Multitasking!
Duh! But seriously – if you have to get something done, set aside a specific time to do it. Ask all those Time Management Gurus – its exactly what they will tell you.
- Teach yourself to breathe
You know? That inhale-exhale thing, continuously. There’s no need to stop in between, hold your breath and get something done in that space without really getting your act together. Instead, breathe easy. As often as you can. Inhale deeply, clear your mind and then – focus.
- Teach yourself to focus
Take time to smell the flowers – whenever you get the chance. Focus – observe the sounds, smells and people around you. Get some focus on what is happening. Listen to your child talking to you about that lovely fairy tale she read even if you’ve heard it a million times. Don’t get mad at her. Don’t get impatient to get to the next task. See? its all in your mind. Be present, be focused and keep practicing it until it becomes second nature.
As you rush around trying to stretch that 24-hour day, focus on two of the most important things in your life. For me – its family and a certain segment of my work. Even as you try to multitask, pause to ask yourself whether you are doing justice to those two important things in your life. If you answer ‘No’, then it is not too late. Turn that into a ‘Yes’.
That ought to complete this post, but I’ve just got to add a Part III – about the side effects of multitasking and some tips on how to break that multitasking habit.