Multi-tasking

I have been thinking about our fast-paced lifestyles and the effects of stress on our bodies.

Yesterday, I had occasion to speak with someone who had just returned from eight days in Hawaii. Not just eight days in Hawaii, but eight days with no itinerary, no plans, no schedules, just beach time and reading time.

I was stunned when I first saw her; Her entire countenance had changed. The stress was gone from her face and she even spoke at a more relaxed pace.

I've read recently that studies are now showing that we are not really capable of all the multi-tasking that we once expected of ourselves. When multi-tasking we don't do any one thing as well as we could if we were focusing on just that one thing. Further, when we're multi-tasking to the tune of someone else's priorities it causes us more stress than if we were to multi-task according to our own priorities.

Personally, I would like to have some extended time to multi-task to my own priorities. Quilting, writing, reading, walking, puttering around my home, browsing in shops, having coffee with a friend, would be some of the things I would choose to focus on. Yet even in that I would choose to do one thing at a time and to take the time to be mindful of each moment instead of thinking ahead to what's coming next.

Perhaps it's because I'm getting older, but something inside is whispering to me that it's time to slow down and take time to appreciate simple things. I once thought that the phrase "living in the moment" was an airy-fairy out there kind of idea. Now this fifty-year old woman is beginning to understand what it means and to begin to practice it.

I'm hoping that it will be possible to teach this old dog a new trick!

7 comments:

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

At 63 I'm learning that I can't be or do all the things my mind thinks it can and to push myself to do them causes great stress. I'm learning to "let go and let God" and to be more a home-body who enjoys quiet and peace shared with my hubby and pets. I try not to have "I have to's on my list" but rather "I want to's".

Deb said...

I'm trying to slow down too...not 50 yet but realize need to enjoy life more...this past summer was a great time...we focused on more enjoyment and less stress...trying to keep it up..but life gets in the way sometimes...

Karen Walker said...

I recently turned 60 and am learning the same thing. Focusing on one thing at a time really does work better in terms of stress reduction. It's not about crossing off as many things on my to-do list as possible any more. It's aboutquality, not quantity.
Karen

Susan said...

Not out there at all, Linda. I baked all weekend, finished each item and was amazingly productive--my schedule, my way. Same thing yesterday and today--Book Review work done at my pace--not shoving it in between 10 other things. I think we accomplished a lot. Tomorrow, I will be at the mercy of the bosses' schedules, chaotic at best, multi-tasking taken to the riduculous--not productive, not a happy employee.

What I really like is your idea of all the homey tasks. I don't mind having more than one project within reason--pick up my knitting or crochet if my eyes are tired from counted cross stitch. But, you know, it's been a LONG time since I finished a project. Sigh...

Jill Kemerer said...

Eight days in Hawaii sounds like a dream come true. We could all use a little R&R!

Terri Tiffany said...

If you could see my face now, you'd see stress gone! two weeks away did it and it was wonderful! Now to keep it off. I hope you find a great way to multi-task for fun!

Janna Qualman said...

That sounds heavenly, doesn't it? took a trip when there weren't many things to do - even when they were supposed to be in the name of fun!