Ok, not true.
It’s the simplest idea and it’s quite an unsparkly one.
But what you do with it, has potential to blow your mind.
It all started when I realised with a shock that I’ve pretty much lost the ability to do one thing at a time.
At any time (including when I’m asleep, I bet).
Case in point, as of now I have:
- 10 browser windows open at once, 8 of them stuff I want to read and take action on, 2 are FB and twitter
- An audio recording playing in the background
- Thoughts swirling what to do next
- Flipped to twitter and facebook twice
- Been writing this for a minute
I also just noticed that each time I get distracted my foot starts shaking, my toes wiggle, my stomach clenches and I feel a little agitated.
(Oooops, I mean, distract myself – nothing outside of ME is doing this to me, right?)
This is not good.
For productivity or health, happiness or peace of mind. I mean, random body parts going into convulsions in tandem? Not good, unless it’s on the receiving end of the Black Eyed Peas!
You know how Jan’s theme for me was Love?
This included taking time off from writing on the blog to focus on processing the progress in my life, ie, doing what I was inspired to do in the face of fears like “I’ll lose my readers if I don’t keep writing” and “Isn’t that irresponsible” etc.
Psst: I originally wrote “changes” in my life and changed it to “progress” instead cos of a new way of thinking which I am excited to blog about soon – it’s on my list of topics!
Well, Feb was a tossup between Yoga 3 X a week or 10 minutes of intentional meditation or silence in the morning before I turn the computer on. Notice how specific I am with my actions? This is good.
As of this second, I’ve decided to go with something infinitely more challenging.
For all of Feb (thank goodness it’s only 28 days instead of 31!) I am going to do one thing at a time.
Yes we’ve all said that many times before but how often do you follow it? Over the past 2 years I have listened to 100’s or interviews, talk shows and seminars.
Each one of them starts with “stop doing everything you’re doing right now, I know you know it’s important but REALLY, stop everything else, eliminate all distractions and let’s get started”.
And I go “yeah yeah I know” and promptly get up to get some water or food, check my phone, look to see who’s online, make a to-do list etc.
One thing at a time means – ONE browser window open at a time. If I want to tweet, I have to close Facebook. If I want to watch a TEDtalk, I have to close the FB window. And if I want to write a blog post, you get the drift.
Now, I’m imagining all sorts of benefits that could come from this:
- Focusing on what’s important
- Less time wastage
- More productivity
- Health (losing the foot convulsions – this is good)
- De-addiction to inconsistency and scatteredness
- Heaps more t… sorry, had to go check the other windows!
Yes, I am really going to do this starting in about 12 hours.
You know what would be SO cool? If YOU took up this challenge with me and did it for a day. Just so I won’t suffer from the withdrawal symptoms alone..
Btw, this isn’t restricted to the Internet, it has to do with everything you do from cooking to cleaning to talking on the phone to working. Uh.. I think they call it “mindfulness” or “being present”.
I call it – one thing at a time.
You will? YES! So glad you’re on board. Ok, here’s what we do now.
- Feb 1st, or for the next 24 hours if you’re reading this mid day, commit to doing ONE thing at any given time (not incl music or your thoughts har har – we have about 20,000 of them a day!).
- Then, come back a day later and write about your experience.
Whether you managed it for 10 minutes, all day or none at all. Some awareness will come up for you, for sure.
You’ll know where and how you disconnect with what’s going on and maybe even learn to predict the times or circumstances that bring up ineffective multi-doing.
Or you may find that sometimes, multi-tasking actually helped and worked better than doing one thing – I don’t know what you’ll find but I sure would love you to share that with us. I’ll comment on Feb 2 to talk about mine.
In the meantime, I have some question for you:
- What makes you try to do it all at once? Society? Pressure? The Jones?
- Why do you get distracted so easily when you KNOW you could do it faster and better one at a time?
- Do we really think that by dividing our attention, we can rule or is it an uncomfortable comfort zone?
Man, I can’t wait to hear from you! Thanks for playing!