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Transform Your Life - One Task at a Time!

Eight. That’s the number of things I would find myself simultaneously doing most week nights.

- Watching TV

- Spending time with my husband

- Eating dinner

- Checking blogs/e-mails

- Flipping through a magazine

- Laundry

- Checking my cell phone

- Relaxing after a long workday

All on the living room couch, by bouncing back and forth from giving my attention to one thing and then the next.

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you know what I’m talking about and have been there yourself- whether it’s during your morning routine, your workday, or doing activities with your kids.

In the 21st Century, multi-tasking has been ingrained into our minds and routines as something that isn’t just a “nice to do” or an “easy to do,” it’s also something we’ve learned to master as a means to survive and succeed in today’s instant gratification world. Waiting in line somewhere? Pull out your cell phone and call someone, check your e-mail, send a text, or surf the internet. Driving to work? Eat your breakfast while also calling to check in on an old friend.

Don’t get me wrong, modern conveniences are fantastic and sometimes I feel completely lost when my iPhone is not within reach. But I also recognize that with this major focus on go-go-go and constantly multi-tasking with everything we do, something is getting lost along the way.

With our daily lives being so crowded and busy, the importance of “stopping to smell the roses” is more glaring than ever. When is the last time that you’ve done any of the following?

- Sat and ate a meal at a table with nothing but you and your plate of food (no music, no phone, no distractions).

- Played with your kids without your cell-phone on hand, the TV in the background, or your computer to split your time with.

- Cuddled up with a blanket and good book to sink into a story line for a period of time – without the option of any electronic distractions.

- Closed your e-mail and internet applications at work and put away your cell phone to channel focus toward your work responsibilities-only (for at least part of the day).

Several months ago, my answer to all of the above scenarios would have been “umm…...” - since I couldn’t tell you when I last experienced any of those things. I know that I’m not the only one.

However, after learning about single-tasking and giving it a try, I am a complete convert. Sure I still multi-task a good portion of my day, but I absolutely recognize the immense benefits of single-tasking and the differences it can make, and I try to implement at least some single-tasking time daily.

For example, I now eat my dinner at my dining room table with my husband – not in front of the TV with my husband and the cast of New Girl and my laptop next to me. Having that time to debrief at the end of the day and reconnect with him is fantastic – and it allows us some time to really check in with each other and what is top of mind.

I’ve also started to really focus on my relaxation time. If I’m going to watch TV, that’s all I do. If I’m going to read a magazine, then I’m 100% immersed. When I take a bath, I just enjoy being in the bubbles with candles flickering in the background. Forcing myself to focus on only that one activity that I’ve chosen allows me to fully and truly relax, and reap the complete benefits of unwinding. Before, I would never really enjoy my “down” time; because I would be too busy trying to multi-task with all of my favorite “relaxing” activities at once. Who would have thought that doing so actually had the opposite effect than what I was going for!?

This brings me to my challenge for you today. I want you to put aside multi-tasking for just one time during your week, and give single-tasking a try. Pick an activity that you typically find yourself multi-tasking with, and focus on doing just that activity for at least 30 minutes to an hour. No other distractions within reach; no interruptions!

You’re going to be amazed at how different your experience is and may even uncover a new found appreciation for this activity. For example, if you decide to watch a favorite TV show, grab a snuggly blanket (and a snuggly significant other if you’d like), set yourself up on the couch, and watch the show. Turn off your cell phone. No folding laundry and no talking about your day with your significant other. Just enjoy your TV show; get lost in it! Take the commercial breaks to go to the bathroom, grab a drink, or have small-talk, but nothing else – no cramming in cleaning or chores.

After you give “single-tasking” a try- let me know how it went! How did you feel after trying your activity though single-tasking versus trying it through your usual multi-tasking? Were you more refreshed? Did you enjoy the activity more? Did you get more than usual accomplished? I want to know what you tried as your activity and what you discovered from the single-tasking challenge. Leave a comment below with all of the juicy details, tweet me, or post a pic on instagram of you doing your activity! I can’t wait to see what incredible impact single-tasking makes in your life!



#singletasking #multitasking #relaxing #challenge

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