In today’s fast-paced busy society, we are all encouraged to multitask or to do many different things at once. But there is something to be said for doing one thing at a time. When we do one thing at a time, we are able to be more present with each activity. We are able to devote all of our energy to the activity at hand.
So how do you practice doing one thing at a time in this world that encourages you to multitask at every opportunity? Think about how much multitasking you do every day. Think about all of the times you are thinking about the next thing you are supposed to do instead of the thing you are doing, think about all of the times you are jumping between browsers on your computer, think about all of the times you check your phone throughout the day, or think about all of the activities you are taking for granted.
So how do you go about changing this? Well, we have a few tips for you.
1. Upon beginning an activity, use your full attention. You might want to remind yourself to “just wash the clothes” or “just drink your coffee”. You want to set an intention with every activity to just do that one thing.
2. Be fully engaged and aware of the activity. You might want to try to pay attention to the one activity with your whole body. If you are listening to music, try to listen with your entire body. If you are drinking tea, try to taste it with your toes.
3. Do not judge yourself if your mind wanders. If you start to think about other things or if you feel your attention being pulled elsewhere, make sure you are able to just notice and gently pull your attention back to the task at hand. Don’t judge yourself or resist.
4. Engage with everything as if it were your first or last time. Are you drinking coffee? Imagine you will never be able to drink coffee again. Are you washing dishes? Imagine this is the first time you have been able to wash a dish.
There are many ways to become more mindful and present with each task. For more tips on mindfulness, have a look at our blog post about being more present.