Thursday, 26 April 2012

Life challenge - week 16 - slow down

You want me to do what Deb?  What are you saying? What, just one thing at a time? Nooooo, don't you know I'm the Queen of multi-tasking???  Week 16 is where we are to slow down and focus. Now this does not come naturally to me. I find myself attempting, and yes that is the word, attempting to do many things at work. This is in both my personal and professional life.

At work- I will often have 3 or 4 tasks on the go, and am 3/4 of the way through all of them, but not finished anything. This is actually quite overwhelming! Of course I can concentrate better on one task at a time- complete it well and then move on! Much easier said than done.  And boy do I get distracted.  Hmm, I wonder what's on the news website - better just go check. Okay now that I'm caught up with the news better check my email....too many distractions!  I can see that focusing on one task at a time would definitely help me at work!

And I tried, I really did. I just didn't do very well. But I think that I'm more conscious of it - I'm definitely going to keep trying.  Keep distractions to a minimum (how about set times to check the news and email- not just cause I'm a little bored with the task at hand) and one task at a time.  I just get change task. Or someone asks me to do something and what do I do? Drop everything and move onto it - nope, finish what you are doing first.  Okay these are good tools for me...I will try again this week!

I did identify 3 important things to do each day. These were personal things, not related to work, and ranged from quick and easy (pay a bill online) to more time consuming (such as an hour at the gym). My time outside work is generally limited - I get home from work around 6pm each night and am exhausted so my tasks on work days will be slightly easier/less time consuming than those on non-work days.  They generally consisted of things like cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, put a load of washing on, treadmill/gym, afternoon fun with kids, Savannah's sport, Hunter's footy, and I even included "me time" on my important things for today - as I had annual leave and the kids were at school and childcare so I spent the day shopping with my sister (after the gym). I did feel like I had achieved something when I could tick the tasks off (I wrote them in my diary).  And once these tasks were completed- I didn't feel guilty, or like I was wasting time, watching TV or reading my book or having some Internet time.  I'm going to try and schedule 2-3 daily tasks in my diary again next week and see how I feel.


  1. You can chop and change between things to keep from being bored - the aim is to be focused on 1 thing at a time really (so decide when you are stopping and put it away FULLY, rather than half doing it - checking email - come back to it - 5 min later doing something else and then returning). The aim really is to focus on it for a set time (say 30 min as an example) and give it your full attention for that time. then you can take a break and after that it is up to you whether you have the inclination or time pressure to work on it more or to start the next SINGLE thing etc.

    sounds like you are headed in the right direction though - trust me this is one of my biggest ongoing challenges too. when i DO get in the zone and stay away from social media, getting snacks, a million other things i actually get stuff done in half the tiem it takes usually.

  2. Bec, I struggle with multi-tasking and getting distracted and getting stuff done and I DON'T work outside the home! You're doing so well to be getting your daily tasks done!

    And I too, love the feeling of getting those important things checked off so I can treat myself to something fun!

  3. at least you've acknowledge you need to improve on this, that's half the challenge right there. Good luck.

  4. Life sounds so busy for you! Well done giving something different a go. Hopefully you can find a mixture of things that work for you. I think that's what I'm going to have to do. Good luck!
    Jo xo

  5. Well done for keeping on trying, sounds like this is an area that could really help you. I hope this doesn't come across big-headed but I feel like a reformed major multi-tasker. I have a very busy head and my natural state is pretty much how you have described, but I have HAD to slow down for my own sanity, literally. It all came to a head when I was working between having my 2 children and life has been different, mostly calmer, mostly easier on myself and generally slower ever since. I still get bored with 1 thing at a time, so I start lots of different projects (for me sewing/knitting) at once and finish them as pleases me. Well done for including your "me time" tasks, I found that so hard when I was working. With everything you've got going on, that you're really trying with this is amazing, hats off to you!!!