On Time: What We’re Doing When We Think We’re Multi-Tasking

So this post continues my inspiration from a piece Peter Bregman wrote adapted from his 18 Minutes and if you want to know more about that, start here.  In Bregman’s piece, he wrote another thing I just want to shout from the rooftops to all RAISING CLARITY’s readers:  Know you can’t do everything:  Trying to “get it all done” every day  is a fundamental error. You can’t, and it’s a mistake to try. When you think you’re multitasking, you’re actually “switch-tasking”—moving very quickly between tasks—and you lose time, focus, direction, and momentum….if you’re stopping every time an email arrives you’re just spinning your wheels on a number of things without actually addressing anything.”

To which I would only add how to know you can’t do everything:

Watch Your (Mental) Diet:

There’s something even more important than “getting it all done,” the time-management tip Bregman is talking about above.  It’s just that sometimes we forget about it:

What’s more important than getting it all done is our single, focused calling.  While many of Bregman’s readers find it hard to “focus on five,” RAISING CLARITY coaches clients and consults to organizations that are much more single-minded, as in: “focus on one.”  So it becomes more natural to stay focused on what’s truly important, and easier to say “no” to stuff you begin to know you shouldn’t even try to “get done.”

Notice what you think about: where’s your default, your mental “neutral”? Choose your resting place to be truly restful. Put your thoughts back there as often as you notice yourself “thinking” idly (a contradiction in terms–thinking idly isn’t really thinking at all, it’s obsessing.) Atheists? Your favorite forest or single tree will do. (It may even change with the seasons, or with your “seasons.” Watch that space!) Religious? Make your most inspiring image your default. Anything less disrespects a healthy mental diet, and the lifeforce you were given.