Do you talk on the phone while folding laundry? Yes / No
Do you read the news online while your eating lunch? Yes / No
Chances are you do some of these – if not other multi-tasking activities numerous times thoughout the day – we all do because we’ve been taught to believe this is efficiency.
The problem with this is a potential cost to your health in the form of stress. Feeling exhausted, overworked, overwhelmed, distracted and over commited might be some of the ways your mind and body are telling you you are doing to much at once.
Single tasking is the opposite of multi tasking – focussing your attention fully on one thing at a time. It also offers an opportunity topractice complete mindfulness and be completely in the here and now.
It’s not possible to single-task all the time but practising single-tasking once a day is entirely achievable. Here’s how:
1. Choose one single task.
Choose an everyday task, such as brushing your teeth, making the bed, folding laundry or washing up after dinner. When the time comes to do that task, devote yourself to it completely.
2. Focus on and absorb every detail.
Let’s say you are folding clean laundry. Immerse yourself in your senses – let this task be the one thing you are thinking about, the only purpose of this moment. Instead of planning dinner or thinking about tomorrow’s meeting or what you will do when you pick the kids up from school, focus on:
• the fresh scent of the clean clothes,
• the softness of the fabric in your hands,
• the neatness of the stacks as you pile more folded laundry,
• turning the mess of mixed up laundry into organized, neatly folded piles.
Appreciate that you’re making time to do this simple task so that you and your loved ones will have clean clothes.
3. Bring yourself back to reality slowly
Take a deep breath and return to your day. You can go back to balancing all the different things you juggle, peaceful in knowing you took some time to really focus and give your mind a well deserved break. Youll likely appreciate the newly created sense of time, mindfulness and rest you may not have experienced otherwise.
By making single-tasking part of your everyday life, you are making your wellbeing a priority. You are acknowledging that there is more to life than bustling through a to-do list, more than just getting things done. After all, we’re all supposed to be a little more mindful for good health, Aren’t we?
Yours in health and happiness,