Each week we change the words/quote/saying that we are displaying on the noticeboard in our kitchen; these are the words we try to live by individually and as a family that week. Some weeks may focus on lifting our mood, others may be about motivation or attitude to life; something that speaks to us on some level and that we can directly apply to our lives. Changing the words each week stops them from becoming just another thing you walk past without really seeing, it keeps things fresh and stops them losing their power. This series is where I share those words with you in the hope they may help you and your family too. If you a new to the series and want to learn more, you can read the first post here, or check out the Words To Live By tab in the top menu.
In today’s fast paced digital age it seems that our attention is always being pulled in million different directions. We have become the ultimate multitasking machines; replying to emails over breakfast, catching up on social media while we brush our teeth, looking for the perfect Insta photo and mentally writing blog posts on every outing (the blogger’s curse). With the advent of smart phones we are never unreachable, and always ‘switched on’.
Last night I was sat watching an episode of Hawaii 5-0 (guilty pleasure!), but I kept losing track of what was happening and had to keep rewinding. It ended up taking me an hour and a half to watch a 45min episode. Now, if you’ve ever watched it, you’ll know its not exactly the most complicated of shows and doesn’t take much concentration at all. The reason it took so long? I was also reading blog posts and writing comments and sharing those posts on social media. But that’s not all. I was also crocheting, putting it down each time I needed to type. Crocheting whilst watching tv is fine, I am only doing squares and rarely nearly to look at what I am doing (and it stops me reaching for the snacks), adding in the blog posts was my mistake.
So, it took me 90 minutes to watch one program, read, comment and share 5 blog posts, and crochet 3 squares. Had I separated them out it would have looked like this:
Watch tv while crocheting 3 squares – 45 min
Read, comment on and share 5 blog posts – 30 min
Total – 75min
By trying to multi-task not only did it take 15 minutes longer but I felt stressed throughout the whole thing because my brain was flitting about all over the place. Had I done them separately I would have enjoyed myself, relaxed more, and probably left better comments for my fellow bloggers.
This is just one example of failed multitasking of course and there are plenty more. It seems to have become something I do all the time now. Try writing a blog post with emails announcing their arrival or Facebook/Twitter notifications pinging up on your phone every two minutes. Your focus is constantly being shifted. How many times have you started something and then completely lost your train of thought? How many times have you walked into a room and then forgot what you went in there for? Our brains are overloaded and overcrowded.
It can be hard to switch off sometimes and focus on just one task, especially when you throw small children into the mix, and it all comes down to managing what time we do have more effectively.
This week I am going to be working hard on setting myself boundaries and working smarter by focusing on one task at a time. If you need some help achieving better focus you can download my free guide: 20 Easy Ways To Achieve Greater Focus below: