Wednesday, April 2, 2008


"Multitasking" is a buzzword we're all familiar with - it (theoretically) means the ability to do several things at once. What it usually means is the ability to have several things going on at once, none of which get done as well as they should, and some of them get left half finished and forgotten.

What most people I come across seem to lack completely these days is the ability to single task. As a society, we're always ready to answer the phone, respond to an e-mail or IM, listen to the radio or have the TV on while we do other things. As Yoda would say "Never our minds on where we are, on what we are doing!". He'd be right.

My challenge for the week (feel free to try this with me) is to take at least one task a day - be it brushing my teeth, baking a loaf of bread, doing the dishes, washing the car or cooking dinner - and concentrate on only that task. The idea is to do that one task slowly, deliberately, in a focused manner and to do it completely - I'll turn off my phone, mute the computer speakers, turn off the monitor, whatever I need to do to not be distracted, and I won't allow anything to interrupt me until my task is complete.

The idea is to connect with the "now", at least for a time, and use these tasks as a sort of meditation in mindfulness. I'll post here in a month and let you know how it went, and what my impressions are.

One footnote: For the past several months, Thursdays have been my "weekly weigh in" days. I post my progress on the blog I do on Myspace (nothing interesting, just a "news, weather and sports" kinda thing to keep my friends up to date), which helps keep me on track. As a result, I've found that when I say I want to try something "for a week", that week tends to start on Thursday for me. While that's the "how" of it ending up that way, I will also admit that I enjoy the fact that my "week" runs from when I want it to rather than the more usual start day.

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