one thing at a time

How often do you do one thing at a time?
 
I have an awful habit for multi-tasking.
 
Saving phone calls for when I’m on the move, answering emails whilst I’m watching TV, reading the paper when eating…I could go on.
 
I used to consider it to be a skill – always taking pride of place on my CV.

Now, I see it as an affliction.
 
It made me a brilliant waitress and a great account executive but it divides my attention. It chops it up into smaller, narrower chunks that can’t absorb as much detail.

Multi-tasking lifts my feet off the ground.
 
The art of doing one thing at a time really is an art.
 
There’s a beauty to dedicating your full attention to one thing. It’s an act of respect, like listening without the desire to talk. 
 
I’m trying to unlearn my default to multi-tasking by being more aware of when I’m doing it, and seeing how I can close the multiple tabs in my brain so that there is just one open and it’s the only thing I’m focusing on.
 
Having my phone in another room when I’m reading, writing, watching television is a big one. I feel as though not being able to see or hear it makes a big difference from it being within my peripheral vision, calling my name saying ‘clare, CLARE, look at me, I’ve got something really interesting to show you.’
 
The other practise that has really helped me when I find myself overdoing is to stop, feel my connection to the ground and to my breath. It reminds me that I am in a moment, in my body. It takes me out of my head into sensation. Out of doing, into being.
 
Try it now:

Close your eyes, notice any tingling in your finger tips, the temperature of the room on your skin, the texture of your clothes, take 5 breaths and then notice how your feel afterwards.
 
In any given moment we have the power to start again, to reset, to get into our bodies and offer our attention as a gift, to something or someone, entirely.
 
It’s a nourishing act.
 
Right, I’m off to gift my full attention to the sea, its swim o’clock.