WELL BEING: The Art of “Single-Tasking”

7 Jul

In the Moment ~ Lynn Van Noy

Everyone’s heard about multi-tasking, right?  You know, getting as many things done, as quickly as possible, with the least amount of effort or time devoted to any one task.

Today, I want to talk about single-tasking.

Single-tasking is my version of focusing on one particular action entirely.  Think, laser-point attention upon one single task, one single moment.  Be here now.

Multi-tasking is a valuable tool when there is a necessary time-table like getting the kids to school on time, offering assistance in a crisis, or an important assignment is due at school or work.  It is beneficial to build goals into our daily life to create a system of accountability in terms of health, fitness, academics, finances, and so on.

Unfortunately, there are times we get so multi-task focused, we can turn everyday living into a goal-oriented process, creating unnecessary pressures and stress.  That’s when balance is needed.

For the most part, our daily experiences are not emergency based or urgent goals so we can slow down, enjoy the moment, allow our mind to be creative, and open the door for inspiration to waltz in when it pleases.

We can miss so much creative flow and personal feeling when we are racing to the finish line of a task, planning every detail, and blocking impromptu happenstance.  By the way, “happy” derives from the word “happenstance.”  Ups and downs are natural.  Life happens, why not welcome it playfully and allow it, without trying to force or control it.  That’s it, let life happen.

Let’s say, you’re making coffee.  Remember, just make the coffee.  No rushing off into the next room to do something else in the middle of the process.  By the time you get to the next room you will probably have forgotten what you ran in there for anyway.  Just one step at a time.  One simple action made consciously and completely.  Stay with it, and in time you will develop the ability to single-task brilliantly.    Enjoy the peace of mind that is a natural side-effect of single-tasking.

With practice, you can develop awareness even during busy times, consciously breathing through each step, reminding yourself of your deepest motivations as you go.

Having the opportunity to slow down and take one-thing-at-a-time comes easily for us here in East Texas.  Not many big cities, wide open spaces, nature abounds and the great sky is so big.  There seems to be little economy of time here.  No one talks particularly fast, like in some big cities where the “time is money” attitude is king.  In fact, we like to take our time talking, stretching out our words, adding syllables, weaving our expressions like a well-crafted, handmade blanket.

So take your time.  Single-task.  Enjoy the moment.

Take a walk.

Make a pot of tea.

Sit under a big old tree.

Ease into an herbal soak.

It doesn’t have to be anything important.  Only, be in the moment.

Sure it would be easier to single-task if you were all alone in a quiet space with no pressures or expectations, but that’s not how life usually works.  By choosing to single-task one small thing each day, you will grow more comfortable with the experience.

You have the capacity for massive joy and amazing experiences.  When you take the time to single-task, your ordinary moments can become extraordinary moments.

One Response to “WELL BEING: The Art of “Single-Tasking””

  1. the Guru July 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    Ah, yes, young lady. You are right on.

    Sipping the fruit of the vine from the shade of the porch.
    Listening to the songs of the cicada’s woe in the summer heat.
    Watch the slow changing of virgin clouds in a sky of blue.

    A sun that sets with colors that saddens for fear of last sight.
    A short quiet in the twilight of evening begins with a glow.
    Sounds from summer’s night begins, wooing as if no end.

    Ears that feel the sharing if one pillow with a love so close.
    Eyes now seeing into the other’s soul. no one else will ever know.
    Now with sounds of silence, not in a hurry with the moment forever.

    All of the things, more cherished than things done altogether.
    All of this and more can only be savored at it’s best.
    Only one at a time.

    –The Guru


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