{Discovering Minimalism} Single Tasking.

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Do you ever feel like a day has passed you by and you don’t even remember it?

Like you got everything done…but nothing truly was finished.

You may be suffering by a new disorder that many call: “Muli-tasking”.

Heard of it? Multi-tasking is the belief that the more you do at a time – the more you will accomplish. We see it everyday, we do it everyday. How my morning looked today:

Alarm. Snooze. Alarm. Snooze.
“Ugghh…we only have 20 minutes…” Snooze.
Pull myself out of bed…in a fog. Brush teeth while using the bathroom (we all do it). “Hm…we need toilet paper.” To rushed to actually put it on the grocery list.Throw something together for my husband’s lunch while brewing coffee for each of us with the keurig (aargh, that darned “out of water” light!)…pouring the steaming black liquid in to-go cups, not even stirring in the cream (A quick twirl of the cup will do the trick, right?).  Forget husband’s two teaspoons of sugar. Hm…we need mayonnaise…(again, don’t write on the grocery list.) Meanwhile, I’m thinking about possible breakfast options, analyzing life…”What are my plans for today?”, “Oh! I need to call so-and-so!”, “Did I get enough sleep last night?” (No.), “Cheese-its or carrot slices?”…

Normal? Yes. Fulfilling? Not so much.

What if my morning looked like this:

Alarm goes off.
Coffee. Open the cabinet to decide on a mug…notice the colors, shapes and feel of each one (I love mugs). Which speaks to me this morning? Decide. Brew. Don’t walk away. Lean against the counter and breathe as the smell of coffee fills the kitchen. Allow my mind to slowly wake up. Add cream, stir. Go to the bed, open the window. Sit and drink my coffee.
Create lunch for my husband. No, I’m not mindlessly slapping mayonnaise on a wrap and grabbing whatever might work. Create. Take time. Nurture his sweet soul by creating good foods to bless his body. Do this one thing. Focus. Do it with love.
Savor a quiet morning as husband grabs the last minute things before he leaves. Savor the quiet, because it won’t last forever. Sweet glances, hugs, kisses. Walk him to the door, wave as he drives away. Breathe in the sweet morning air.

Seems impossible? Maybe. But incredibly fulfilling. In morning option #2, many would feel like they must be forgetting something. If there’s no drama then they must make busy drama. Because if you’re not busy then obviously your life isn’t worth a hoot. (sarcasm…btw)

HERE’S WHAT I HAVE TO SAY TO THOSE PEOPLE (myself included):

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Easier said than done.

I’ve actually had to completely unfollow some really awesome people on instagram because they were coooonstantly doing and accomplishing that I felt like I needed to do the same. Because, I mean – If I’m not starting my own business than who am I really? Why don’t I have my own creative, crafty workshop for lots of awesome bloggers? Why isn’t my instagram filled with “Just do stuff” quotes and bright white walls? WHY?

I digress… .

To stop the glorification of busy and the “multi-tasking syndrome”, someone out there came up with a new way of life: single tasking.

I’ve been doing my research and my favorite articles are HERE, HERE and HERE (make sure you watch the videos!).

Essentially, single tasking is doing one thing at a time, and doing it with all of your heart.

– Watching a movie? Put down the iPhone and watch the heck out of that movie. Make popcorn, cuddle someone you love, grab a blanket. Remember when you were a kid and watching a movie was an event? In my family, Fridays were “Junk Food/Movie Night” (creative title, I realize). Of course, we would have pizza and other forms of “junk food”. Usually, mom would buy SODA (woah!! crazy!) and go to Blockbuster (RIP) for a movie. The whole family sat together in the living room and watched together. As a family. TOGETHER. Let’s bring that back.

– Eating a meal by yourself? Make it delicious and PUT DOWN THE TECHNOLOGY. Focus on each bite, flavor, texture. Sit outside. Eat slowly. Savor.

– Online? Practice “Tab-less Thursday” (see video in third link) and only have one tab up at a time. Download social media blocks for an hour at a time or better – delete facebook. It’s not actually socializing, it’s isolating.

– When you work, do it 100%.

– When you rest, do it 100%.

– Do one. thing. at. a. time. (Moms are off the hook on this one…but still – focus on being all there with your kids, not going, doing and internet-ing.)

Doesn’t a life full of single-tasking sound like a life you would remember?

A life lived 100%.

Challenge:

1. Only one type of technology at a time. (Laptop OR iPad. TV OR instagram.)
2. No technology while eating. Focus on each bite.
3. No clicking mindless links on facebook, youtube or buzzfeed. Limit to 5 tabs at a time.
4. Check email only ONCE a day.
5. Check facebook only ONCE a day.
6. When doing a task, focus on it. Don’t keep thinking about what you’ll do next.
7. Make each moment count.