by Linda-Ann Stewart
Have you ever set the teakettle on to boil, gotten distracted checking your email, and had the kettle boil dry? I have. This is trying to do too many things at once, or multi-tasking. When you multi-task, you’re trying to juggle several balls or situations at one time.
Keeping more than one ball in the air at a time, splits your attention, causes you to miss other details, and wastes energy as you keep them moving. Studies have shown that multi-tasking actually is more stressful and less efficient than staying with one project and seeing it through.
You can really only focus on one thought at a time. The mind darts from one idea to the next so quickly that it only seems to be thinking of several things at once. It’s possible to do one thing which is automatic or has become a habit, while doing or thinking of another. You do this all the time, such as when you wash the dishes and plan the next meal. In this situation, you were only conscious of one thing, your meal planning, and you cleaned the dishes automatically. They didn’t take any of your attention.
Although you can switch from one thought or activity to another, it takes time and extra energy. If you’re talking on the cell phone while driving, there’s a good chance you could run a light because you get caught up in the conversation and your attention drifts from steering the car to the person on the other end of the call.
When you’re multi-tasking, you’re being pushed by inner pressures and outer demands. Rushing from one situation to another creates confusion that then takes mental energy to sort out. You’re actually being reactive, acting over and over in ways you’ve always done, rather than responsive, or consciously choosing how you want to act in the situation.
Mindfulness can relieve the pressure and help you handle your challenges more effectively. Learning to be mindful, or in the moment, has wide-ranging benefits, such as improved mood, better memory, enhanced problem solving, healthier immune system, increased optimism, and a greater sense of well-being.
Learning to be in the now, the present, or in the moment, takes practice. You can start by simply noticing your breath while you’re meditating. If your mind wanders, simply observe the fact without judgement and bring your attention back to your breathing.
Focus totally on a task, whether it’s doing the dishes, answering email, or working on a project. You can bring it to a point of completion, even if it’s not finished, and then go on to the next task. While you’re working, only think of what you’re doing at that time. Whenever you find your mind wandering, remind yourself to “Focus” or “Be in the moment.”
You can work towards a goal, in the future, while being in the present and dealing with what needs to be done now. Focusing on your current project narrows your attention so that you can aim all of your energy into the present activity. This allows you to get it done easier and faster. Being in the moment frees up your mental space to allow your subconscious to better process information, work out solutions and be creative.
Your future is based on your thoughts, feelings and beliefs of the present. When you stay in the present, you aren’t concerned about the future, which is yet to be, or the past, which is over and done with. Being in this moment, you can choose what you want to think, feel and believe and more powerfully create what you want.
I let go of concern about the future and stay focused in the present. When thoughts and feelings arise, I observe them, without judging or reacting to them. I become more and more conscious of when I’m distracted, and gently refocus my attention on the moment. By staying in the moment, I’m able to more fully utilize my power and direct it to create what I want.
Copyright 2010 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved
A nationally known speaker, life coach, hypnotherapist, and writer, Linda-Ann Stewart helps people rediscover their power and sense of self-worth. Visit Secrets To The Law Of Attraction to download your copy of this free ebook.