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One Thing at a Time

It is a great myth that people who are multi-taskers are more productive than those who are not. When you choose to multi-task, you are splitting your energy and attention between multiple sources; hence, you are not able to be fully present in any one task.

When you do one thing at a time, on the other hand, you are able to be fully present in the moment. The likelihood of errors decreases, bringing up the quality of the work on the task at hand. For most of us, doing multiple things at once has become second nature. Watching television while we eat, listening to music or a podcast while we drive, scrolling through social media while we do an online course. It has become so natural, that you might not even notice that you are doing it.

If you’d like to put the practice into action, of doing one thing at a time, you can play with small activities in your daily life. When you eat, see if you can just eat. Tune into your senses. Notice the taste of the food, the texture, the smell. Simply be in the moment. When you drive, see if you can drive in silence; simply drive. Truly tuning into your surroundings and being present in the moment. When you put your laundry away, do so in silence, no television, no music, no podcast, no audiobook. Just you and the laundry. One thing at a time.

Track how you feel after doing your task mindfully. Do you feel more grounded? More peaceful? More alive? Or maybe you feel bored? Or restless? All data is helpful. There are no good or bad results. When you can do this with one task, the practice begins to bleed into several areas of your life. Before long, you become much more mindful and much more present.

Start today, doing one thing at a time.

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