January 10, 2016

just one thing

Sometime in November
I realized that multitasking 
is an epic failure.
I admit to being a person who prided themselves on being able to do many things at once.
But back then I didn't have as much responsibility as I do now 
(It's my job that I'm talking about mostly, really.
I suppose I do at home too but the stakes aren't as high
when you're trying to do laundry,
feed the kitties,
and play Boom Beach.)

So I decided to try to do one thing at a time (at work). 
I shut off email notifications.
I cleared my desk except for the item that I'm working on.
I closed my door and ignored it when people knocked.

All of these things seem so simple. 
But I quickly discovered how hard it is. 

I say that I started doing all of these things
but we are so used to being in five places at once
and being online in five more
and feeling that doing all that makes us better somehow.

So I found that after I cleared my mind and desk 
so I could concentrate - 

 I couldn't.

I started looking for distractions.
I got out my phone.
I looked out the window. 
I stared.

It's hard to stop.

I went back to work last week and didn't do any of those things I listed above.
I felt totally overwhelmed. Like I couldn't even make a to-do list.
(I couldn't make a to-do list.)

But I haven't given up on it entirely.
It's a work in progress.
See, I felt like I wasn't really doing anything well
and that the more I tried to do,
the less I got done.

So now

Even now as I write this I'm drinking a cup of hot apple cider
and listening to Sigur Ros.
And admittedly, I had my journal out earlier
and started writing in it too.

I don't take enough time to be quiet
and to sort what I'm trying to say
or even, trying to ignore,
most of the time.
So when I do - I try to do it all at once.

When I think of the things I really want to be doing.
When I consider what quality time is for me-
playing video games and watching tv
don't even rank.

This does.
Writing something.
As does spending time with my beloved
and showering my kitties with kisses
(I actually do that a lot.)

But how do we remember?
In the middle
or at the end
of the day?

Where we really want to be?
What we want to be doing?
Just one thing.
Just one thing at a time.

to slow down.
to breathe.
to stop.

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