20 Feb 2013

The Multi-Tasking Trap

No Comments Do More, Stress Management

multitasking“Ability to multi-task and handle/ manage multiple projects” used to be my favourite line to add to my resume.  The ability to do multiple things and handle a complex series of needs is a really important thing.  Too much of a good thing however is a trap. How much is too much?

  • I feel exhausted
  • I feel like I never accomplish anything
  • I feel unfulfilled daily
  • It is never enough
  • I keep dropping the ball

If thoughts like this are frequent, ask yourself if you have gotten into the multi-task trap.  While being able to juggle is a great skill it also leads down the path of being unfulfilled.

Here is how:
Multi-taksing requires having multiple thoughts at once.  That means mind chatter.  Mind chatter can be exhausting, especially when it is “harried chatter”.  That kind of mind chatter is also what takes us away from being PRESENT.  The ability to be PRESENT is the key to happiness.  Consult any scholar, guru, therapist you like, that is what it all boils down to.  Presence.

Multi-tasking creates multiple thought patterns, all in competition with each other for the brain’s full attention.  This creates scattered thinking.  For some scattered thinking results in lack of focus, and the inability to get things done.  For others it creates mindlessness.

Mindlessness can be a dangerous place.  Think about it.  When you are mindlessly vacuuming, peeling carrots, doing dishes etc. what are you present to? Most likely in moments of mindlessness your inner voice starts to talk. Often our inner voice creates less than productive chatter. Fears, insecurities, regrets tend to occupy our thoughts in our mindless moments. What does your inner voice like to talk about?

If you’re feeling exhausted and unfulfilled at the end of the day, take a close look at your self talk.  When we mindlessly buzz around, we rarely stop to “smell the roses” so to speak.  When we don’t purposefully pause and give ourselves a pat on the back for our worth each day, how can we possibly feel worthwhile?  The daily-ness of life is work.  Multi-tasking is a skill that many develop in order to cope with all of the demands. Be willing to catch yourself in a whirl and learn to pause and pull yourself into the present moment.  Fulfillment comes when we stop, catch our breath, and focus on the moment.

When your scattered thinking/multi-tasking leads to feeling like you never get enough done, learn to stop yourself and ask “what one thing can I complete”.  Focus on finishing one task at a time.  As you do this, write a list of all of the things you finished.  Even if they seem trivial write these things down for one week.  Be willing to soak in all it is you DO do.  When you do this for yourself it will give you practice at being PRESENT.  When you work on being present, depleting thoughts and feelings slip away.

written by
Beth supports people in finding solutions to everyday problems!
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