We have become a nation of multitaskers. From e-communicating with one friend while talking to another to doing dishes while on the phone to working on several projects at once while keeping up with e-mail, most of us probably spend a good portion of our day doing more than one thing at a time.
Multitasking may feel efficient and productive on the one hand, but can lead to stress and frustration on the other. If our focus is scattered, if we’re worrying about what we’re supposed to do instead of what we are actually doing, it can be a challenge to complete our best, thorough work.
I’m finalizing a VO proposal for a four-part project for a returning client, editing a satirical sermon for the Best Church of God, making progress on a co-authored non-fiction project, preparing for a huge audition and dealing with a short deadline family matter entailing far too many forms and details. I’ve set a goal to get out more writing submissions and work on a new manuscript. Throw in a couple of rehearsals, workshops, some social events and miscellaneous appointments…
Trying to do everything in a timely manner had me reading e-mails while getting my hair cut. I like to a) get things off my plate and b) respond to others as soon as possible. I realize that a half hour delay doesn’t always matter. So perhaps I should have relaxed and enjoyed my salon time instead of fretting about all the signatures, documents and answers I needed to provide.
Recently I attended two meditation sessions, including a lecture and discussion, to clear my mind and reduce stress. To get better at living in the moment, being present where I am. I’d tried on my own, but got frustrated when I couldn’t stop thinking.
The group environment helped me to settle in and focus on my breathing. Each time, I was surprised that for a few minutes my mind went somewhere…not quite sure where, but relaxing nonetheless. Hearing others share similar life frustrations was reassuring. Unfortunately, the calming effect of the meditation didn’t last long. I plan to set aside a few minutes each day to see if I can sit on my own and focus on one thing at a time.