I am a consummate multi-tasker which I realized a few years ago as I was brushing my teeth with one hand and making my bed with the other. I have been known to speak on the phone and prepare meals, put makeup on while picking out clothes for the day, type one thing while having my mind pulled in another direction, contemplating the next task I need to accomplish. No wonder I have been having memory issues where data just disappears as if in a puff of smoke from my brain! I have heard people use terms like “The mental hard drive is too full.” or “I don’t have the bandwidth to take on one more thing.” I can certainly relate. Yesterday, I noticed that (and not for the first time) that I had 5 or 6 tabs open at the top of my laptop screen. These are all programs that are running under the surface while I am allegedly concentrating on the one in front of me. Periodically, in mid task, I open one of them as if I was Pavlov’s dog being triggered by a bell. It can sometimes feel like an addiction.
When that happens, in order to ward off the frustration, cerebral chatter, the not enough stuff that spins out of control at times, I take a deep breath (like I am doing right now) and re-focus on the sensation of my fingers on the keyboard and the desire to speak to all of you who are reading this missive. If I can imagine that I am sitting with you, I wouldn’t physically doing anything else, just being fully present. That would enrich our interaction and calm me considerably.
If one of my goals is to accomplish the things on my daily check list, it is essential for me to do them one at a time. On Saturday, I got my car serviced, went to the gym, the bank, the supermarket, bought a baby gift for my friend Jenny’s adorable newborn, did laundry, wrote a few articles, edited an article I am writing, shoveled snow, spoke with friends on the phone. For all of those experiences, the learning curve is pretty flat and only one (learning how to edit the article on the site for which I will also be writing, called The Good Men Project) required nearly flawlessly undivided attention. I took good notes and was reminded by Lori who trained me, that I could ask for help anytime I needed it. That is a stretch for me, since I somehow carry this delusion that I should know what I am doing all the time. YIKES! Still wondering where that one came from. I want to bring excellence to everything I do, but this merciless inner criticism just ain’t working.
I am learning gradually to let myself off the hook, allow for being human, be compassionate toward myself as I absorb new things and take on additional tasks, knowing that everything will flow into place with ease and grace~