I am a meditating would-be recovering multitasker, who is learning about mindfulness. And you?
Today I finished a meditation certification course.
I have been meditating for a few years but decided to go a little deeper – as my simple beautiful life journey unfolds towards supporting women create their personal lives of great quality.
I believe simplicity is a vital ingredient of quality of life.
I have found that a meditation practice assists in creating a simple life.
I am learning that mindfulness plays a big role in a life of simplicity and is linked to meditation.
As a busy working mom, multitasking, or more correctly task-switching, has been my modus operandi for many years.
I used to view meditation as an undertaking, another thing to fit into my day.
But now that it has become a habit, I have come to see it simply as a tool. A simple and beneficial way to pause, and to rest, and to reset. It improves the quality of my days, and thus life.
I start most days with a brief meditation and I have experienced the life-changing benefits of this habit myself. Whereas mornings used to be stressful and rushed, trying to get 2 small people off to school, they are now – mostly – calmer and smoother. In my opinion we start the day a better way.
I have found it to be true that the way we start our day tends to set the tone for the day ahead. And the happy thing is that one can pause and meditate on the trot too at any point in the day. And the more one meditates, the easier it is to recognise the need for a pause, and the simpler it becomes to drop into that pause.
Meditation does not have to be candles, light-coloured clothing and incense. I believe it can be very beneficial just for a few moments of breathing deeply and slowing the pace down.
Being a naturally energetic, fast-acting and busy person, who is quick to respond and react (think fools rush in!) – meditation has played a key role in my journey towards simplicity. It has offered me the gift of the pause. The pause is where we can make decisions about how we choose to react to external circumstances. This is where we get a slowed-down moment to decide how our day plays out.
Between stimulus and response there is a space.Victor Frankl
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
We think of multitasking as a productivity hack: it enables us to get through our to-do list with great speed and accuracy.
Studies show, however, that it is not possible for us to multitask – that is do 2 things at the same time. What we really do is rapid task-switching. We can learn to hop rapidly from one task to another in quick succession. See a brief summary of some of the research here.
This however, results in
- wasted time – due to context switching, and
- mistakes due to insufficient attention.
Semantics aside, in my experience, I certainly feel that I frequently juggle 2 or more things simultaneously. Otherwise how do we get through all the things every day, right?
Multitasking examples from my day include:
- Driving & making lists
- Bathing & scrolling
- Cooking & homework
- Breakfast & making plans
- Talking & posting
- and the list goes on… for me (see above – “Being a naturally energetic, fast-acting and busy person…”
Mindfulness to me coud be the counterbalance to multitasking.
It is simply the act of focusing on where we are and what we are doing at any given time. It is being present and engaged on one thing without the mind racing off elsewhere.
Instead of hopping about, it could be seen as settling. Although it could be overwhelming in its philosophical approach, it can be simple in its application.
“No matter where you are on your journey it is not too late to start practising the simple steps of mindfulness meditation little bit by little bit in your day”Melissa Crowhurst
Mindfulness examples from my day include:
- driving with both hands on the wheel, phone on silent, radio off, or
- making a salad focusing on chopping each ingredient
- drinking water tuning in to the taste, the temperature, the feel of the glass or the water as it slides down your throat
- watching and waiting for the sun to set, just that
For me I am trying to take notice of insignificant every day actions. Perhaps I will progress on to larger things, perhaps not.
Life can be busy and it can be chaotic, but we do have access to tools to slow it a little and bring it back to being a little easier to manage.
Whether you meditate, or practise mindfulness, it is never too late to set out creating a new healthy habit.
And these 2 get my vote for life-changing goodness!
Introducing Mindfulness into Multitasking
I am a busy human and will definitely continue to jump between tasks. I do however see the great benefit of incorporating mindfulness in between this task-hopping.
By introducing the slower-paced mindfulness counter to this multitasking hyperactivity throughout the day, every day – the quality of our days is likely to increase. This means that the quality of our lives is likely to increase.
Which is what we want.
Follow me on instagram @asimplebeautifullifesa for more tips and simple living love.