Sports. School. Work. Parties. Friends. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Blog.
Between all of the things in our busy lives, it’s easy to try to do things all at once. Heck, I have 21 TABS open on my browser right now (that’s not an exaggeration, I just counted) and a to-do list a mile long running through my head. Things come to me and I stop what I’m doing to start on something else before I forget. I am a multi-tasker by nature, and multi-taskers like to stay busy.
It’s easy to feel more accomplished when you are doing 28423 things a day. Sure, you get to check some off your to-do list and maybe feel a little more at ease when you lay your head down at night. But think back to all those things you did- did you do them well? Or did you just do them to do them?
One of the things I love most about Mr. R is his attention to detail. He has laser focus that allows him to complete everything at 110%. Sure, it’s annoying because it’s completely the opposite of me, and has led to it’s fair share of arguments, because he is very much a single-tasker whereas I am very much a multi-tasker. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you can multi-task and do all of those things well, more power to ya. But for me, it’s always been a problem because of all the ten things I’m doing at once, I’m not giving my full attention to one thing, but rather splitting my focus and attention between all ten.
Why you should be a single-tasker
So, Mr. R has really been helping me to become more of a single-tasker. Why? Because it makes everything easier. Seriously! The more you have going on, the more likely you are to make mistakes. The more likely you are to have to go back and redo something you did wrong the first time (hello, basket of laundry that needs to be re-washed because I washed a bag of Doritos with it accidentally!) You are also more likely to be in the moment and actually enjoying whatever it is.
How to be a single-tasker
Some people might think, “Well, you must not be as busy as me then, because there is NO way I could slow down and do one thing at a time! Have you seen my to-do list?” GIRL, I feel ya! That was exactly my argument to Mr. R when he started encouraging me to slow down. But you CAN! Here are a few tricks to help you slow down without feeling like you are falling behind.
- Get a whiteboard: This will help you get those million things out of your mind before you forget them, without having to stop what you are doing and switch to something else completely.
- Leave your phone in another room. Doing laundry? Washing dishes? Leave your phone somewhere you can’t check Facebook every 5 minutes and you’ll accomplish your task quicker and better!
- Prioritize: I am SO bad about this one. To me, everything is important at that moment, thus leading me to try to start everything at once. But be real with yourself. What needs to be accomplished today, and in what order? What can wait? Because, if we are being honest, not everything is going to get done (well) every day, so it’s better to just pick a few of the top things!
- Tune everything else out: This is probably the hardest of all, especially if you have kids. But if that means finding a way to have quiet time to yourself (whether it’s to blog, pay bills, read, etc.) then that’s what you should do. I produce CRAP writing when my kids are running around, screaming, and yelling at me, but I’ve found that if I save blogging for once the kids go to bed, I have a clear mind and can focus on my writing. It’s much better than trying to pump out a post when my minds’ not really in it. It’s funny, because when I was in college, I used to watch tv while I would study and do homework, and checking my phone intermittently. I’d chat with my roomies when they came in and out, and I was never really truly focused.
Single-tasking is not for everyone, and in fact can sometimes be even more challenging than multi-tasking. But, I promise, if you take the time to slow down and focus on one task at time, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and stress of re-doing everything later.