The Art of Single-Tasking
When was the last time you really took the time to do one thing only?
Most likely you can't even remember because you probably haven't done it for a long time. Many of us have grown up in a time where we are constantly put around all this stuff. So much so that it really affects our mental wellbeing. This makes us feel, as entrepreneurs, that we have to move forward very quickly and keep up with people who are lightyears ahead of us and do things that are equivalent to what they've spent years building and learning. Quite an illusion.
We are very fast on our feet but sometimes we trip. Sometimes we need to take time to do nothing to come back down from our high that comes from all this information and stuff around us.
To just sit, to do nothing, to do the dishes, the laundry, eat food, all without the element of distractions. That is when your best creative ideas will come to life. That is when your subconscious mind can come forward and finally speak to you after being pushed back by your distractions.
This is also why meditation is such a great practice, letting our conscious minds sleep for a little while and listen to the intuitive voice behind it. That is your spirit voice, that will give you your next subject, your sense of calm and awareness, your presence, and maybe even your million dollar idea.
The next time you find yourself multitasking, as many of us do, notice it and instantly shut it down. If you're watching tv, for example, and get a message on your phone, pause the tv, look at your phone, put the phone back, then resume the tv again. I actually recently got rid of my tv in my apartment but that's another story.
When you are brushing your teeth, stand and look in the mirror and think about the little tiny bristles brushing along your gums and teeth. These are the small little things that will get you into a routine of single-tasking (which our brains are designed for anyway) and getting things done in a productive way that is not rushed nor forced.
I read the book "Steal Like an Artist" recently, and the author Austin Kleon talks about the importance of using our hands to make things as creatives. He says if you can to have one table for digital producing, and then one that's a "no tech zone" where you can create, spread things around, make a mess, pin things up and just let your mind wander.
I've come to realize over the course of the last year how important is it for me to get my sketchbook out again and draw by hand and I'm looking forward to diving into gouache paints this afternoon as a new venture for my work. When I work on my iPad, there's almost too much room for perfection, making things smaller & bigger, copy & pasting, it's great to do client work with because I can easily change colours, lines and shapes but I believe it doesn't always fully allow my brain to be as creative as it can be on real paper. Technology really is a blessing and a curse. It allows us access to all kinds of information and topics but our brains really aren't equipped to handle so much information that appears so quickly on the screen.
Single-tasking will allow you to live presently and to feel fully immersed into what you're doing, which leads to a much happier lifestyle and overall day to day satisfaction. I believe if we adopted this method, anxiety would greatly reduce and we would be much more productive in our days. We would notice our loved ones when they whisper a funny joke or how your plant has grown a new leaf, and how good your food really tastes when you focus on it.
The next time you catch yourself juggling all kinds of random stuff, see if you can choose one to focus on even just for a few minutes, and then allow yourself to move on to the next one.