One Thing At A Time.

Today is one of those mornings where, even with my beautifully marked bullet journal, I’m overwhelmed by what all has to be done so I just wander around my house aimlessly carrying around one sock and constantly in search of my coffee mug.

You ever have those mornings?

I really did carry one sock around from room to room this morning…this is not some weird metaphor. I found it in the hall and was trying to pick up/put up stuff and it just ended up going with me everywhere and I never deposited it in any dirty clothes pile because it just became a part of my body and I kinda forgot I was even holding it. Then I went to make my coffee and it was there…in my hand. So, I put it on the counter, made my coffee, then picked it back up again like it was a newborn needing constant attention.

And right now? The sock is next to me at my computer and I can’t remember where I put my coffee cup.

These mornings, when I’m snowballing down a hill in a frenzied panic, I’m trying to remind myself to stop…and BREATHE. A new friend just last night was talking about the importance of breathing. My mantra for today (which I’ve already forgotten, obviously) is supposed to be ONE THING AT A TIME. I am not accruing extra years in my life by doing several tasks simultaneously. I don’t win a prize for having a sewing project on my passenger seat to tend to when I’m stuck in horrible traffic. (Which I normally avoid by leaving early but got stuck in yesterday due to a Donnie’s crazy morning.) I didn’t gain another year of peace by sewing that at a red light. ONE THING AT A TIME.

So. I’m going to stand up, put the sock where it belongs, and then look for my coffee cup. Then I’m going to pack lunches and I’m not going to try to watch a TV show simultaneously. Then I’m going to drive to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things, then go to the recyclery, then go to work. I’m going not have anything within hand’s reach to grab if I get stuck in traffic. I’ll have my podcast going or NPR on, and THAT IS IT. ONE THING AT A TIME. I’m not going to carry toys to the playroom on the way to the bathroom. I’m not going to fold laundry while eating dinner.

Now, I know there are studies showing how ineffective multi-tasking is, but when I talk about multi-tasking, I really mean single-tasking…EFFICIENTLY. Like, while I’m waiting for the Keurig to brew my coffee, I’m doing dishes. I call that multi-tasking, because I’m doing TWO THINGS in the amount of time it takes me to do ONE THING (make a cup of coffee) but at no moment am I actually doing TWO THINGS simultaneously.

And my kind of multi-tasking? CAN BE EFFECTIVE.

But I’m trying to stop that shit because those few seconds I preserved by washing dishes while waiting for coffee just keep my mind in that frantic WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NEXT mode and I don’t like that mode. It makes me a little frazzled and tense. I want to sit and breathe while the coffee is brewing. ONE THING AT A TIME.

But I’m TERRIBLE at it. While writing this entry I actually BREWED A CUP OF COFFEE but instead of just waiting and savoring the moment of peace during the 60 seconds it took to brew, I CAME BACK TO MY LAPTOP TO TYPE.

ONE THING AT A TIME.

Here’s to staying out of that frenzied GO! GO! GO! mode, even if I don’t do quite as much in a window of time, I’m hoping my spirit will be in a better place because of it.

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5 Comments

  • Colleen

    I need this too! One thing at a time! I’m always trying to fill in those moments while I’m waiting for something else – loading/unloading the dishwasher while waiting for eggs to cook & coffee to brew. I haven’t started sewing at stop lights yet though! Although I am often figuring out work problems or planning things while driving!

  • Cherie

    Oh, man, this has been my goal all year. I even have a “SINGLE TASK!” sticky note stuck right on my monitor at work. I currently have 10 Firefox tabs, two excel spreadsheets, and three Word docs open simultaneously so obviously it is working like a champ.

    Good luck to us.

  • Lindsey

    Yes. This week I am so there. Frenetic totally describes my outlook right now and I just don’t see it stopping anytime soon. The only light at the end of the tunnel is the fact that after 3 months of this and choosing to skip the gym because I was too damn busy, I realized that I was too dang busy not to go to the gym because the lack of exercise was upping my anxiety.