Various items pop into my head - oh yeah, I wanted to do that this morning - while I’m in the middle of something else. It feels like endless distraction, as I wander around doing one thing here, one thing there, or parts of one thing here and a bit of a second thing there. If I had an actual list, I wouldn’t be able to check any one thing off because I can’t seem to focus enough to get to completion.
Maybe it’s a symptom of having my kids home all of last week. When I’m in full-time parent mode, I’m frequently being interrupted to help find, fix or figure something out. I tend to operate from a multi-tasking perspective - always doing more than one thing at a time.
This strategy came in handy when my kids were tiny people. Playing I-spy with one while nursing another, making play-doh meatballs at the table while cooking dinner, getting one to brush their teeth while tucking another squirming body into feety pajamas.
Now that my kids are older, I don’t need to be quite so hands on, and the multi-tasking is much less essential. And yet, it is difficult for me to switch out of that mode without being super intentional about it. I’m sure the impact of technology, social media and phone use has something to do with this. I also know that I have a choice in how I engage with those around me and the tasks on my to-do list.
So, what am I going to choose this morning?
Sitting myself down to write this has helped. My mind feels calmer and more focused. After writing here, I am going to write that to-do list, capping it at seven items. And from there, it’ll be one thing at a time.
I realize how lucky I am to be able to have this uninterrupted time to do one thing. And then perhaps a second and a third. More than the impending productivity, I’m relishing the practice of focus, of immersing myself in one thing and noticing who I am engaged in that one thing.
Engaged in this one task of writing, I notice that I am open and curious and eager to share.
Who I am when I’m putting in that overdue load of laundry…it may sound less sexy, but I am confident there will be something there to notice.
Next up, writing that to-do list.
What is your relationship to doing one thing at a time? Who are you being as you do this one thing of reading this post? What’s important here?
Jessica Curtis is a professional coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.