Are you juggling too much?
How many of you have a “To do” list as long as your arm and as a result try to complete more than a one thing at a time. It goes something like cooking dinner, while doing the dishes, helping the kids with homework and answering emails on your phone. Or sitting at work, answering emails, while trying to get the financials completed and answering an incoming call.
Multitasking seems to be a necessary skill just to get by in today’s society. Our smart phones mean we are always contactable either via phone, Facebook, messenger or text. It also follows that most of us expect to be contacted in some way at least every few hours from someone we know. And if we haven’t heard from anyone, we start to check our phones every 10 minutes just to make sure it’s on and we haven’t missed anything.
But how well do you think you are actually completing the tasks at hand? And what impact does all this multitasking and distractions actually have on our minds and our bodies?
There are many studies out there that show definitively that completing one take completely is more constructive than multitasking. The task is completed quickly and more accurately. Your attention is solely focused on one thing so there is less chance of an error or mishap. So if the task is something that requires greater concentration, and needs to be right the first time, stop multitasking and instead concentrate on the task at hand. Once it’s done start on the next task.
Now there’s the issue of what affect does all this multitasking and busyness have on our health?
I have many clients come to see me expressing that they are stressed and have issues with anxiety, not sleeping well, gaining weight, etc. When we try to do too much at one time we feel “stretched”. We place extra pressure on our mental abilities so our brains can feel like they’re fried. We increase the amount of cortisol circulating through our bodies, which stress out our adrenal glands and makes us feel exhausted.
We then reach for a quick fix in energy be it chocolate, cake, coffee or some other energy drink and then struggle to fall asleep at night. Our minds whirl with the million and one things we need to do tomorrow because we didn’t get through everything today. And then of course there is there last minute things we suddenly remember we have to do tomorrow or the last minute dramas that come from left field. We feel exhausted as we fall into bed but our minds just won’t shut up!
So how do you clear out your minds and reduce the stress and anxiety in your life?
Close off some of your browsers! Meaning stop trying to do so many things at once.
Computers these days can have many windows open but if there are too many windows open it will eventually crash and so too will you. Simplify what you have to do. Make a “To do” list. Put reminders in your phone. Even simple things like
“Kids need to bring a dollar to school today for charity.” Or
“Road works today, take a different route to work.”
By putting the reminder in your phone you no longer need to keep the memory of it in your mind.
By writing down everything you need to accomplish, again you take the load off your brain to remember it. And at the end of the day, once you look at just how many things you ticked off you list, you will feel like you have accomplished something. And this feel good feeling will make you happy, and happy equals more energy and more energy means less inclination to grab that sugary piece of food or stimulating beverage and a better sleep!
So next time you’re feeling frazzled and just can’t think straight, close some of your browsers open in your mind, make some notes to clear your brain, focus on one thing and feel the difference!
Until next time remember, “Happiness starts with a Smile”.