“Multitasking arises out of distraction itself.” –Marylin vos Savant
Today’s world of too much to do, always working, and a busy personal life, is a fact of life. But it is not always the healthiest way to live. The good news, there are ways to combat the busyness and have a healthier and happier way of being.
Due to our very busy lives we often multitask. But a study from the University of Stanford shows that multitasking is not good for you. It causes you to make more mistakes, be less creative and it takes more time to complete the task. When you multitask, you are causing your brain to task-switch or bounce around versus being focused and staying on point. This switching is exhausting. It uses up the oxygenated glucose in the brain, that is needed when you want and need to be most focused.
How do you break the multitasking habit? Mindfulness has become a proven tool that can help. As Jon Kabat-Zinn states, when you are being mindful, you are regulating your attention on what is happening in the moment and approaching your experiences with openness, curiosity and acceptance.
Mindfulness helps you to notice that you have gotten off track from what you really want to be concentrating on. Distractions are a part of what happens. We have over 50,000 thoughts a day. With mindfulness you become more aware that your mind has wandered. It allows you to return to what you were doing. Mindfulness enhances your attention, increases your ability to remain focused and helps you to ignore outside distractions.
Practicing mindfulness has shown to alter the structure and function of the brain. Thus, resulting in learning and thinking more clearly and improving your memory. In today’s workplace, it is critical to think creatively for innovation and leadership to occur.
Following are easy ways to break the multitasking habit and be more effective at work in a less stressful manner:
- Take a breath between projects. Set up a schedule and prioritize what you need to do. When you complete a task, take a deep breath and allow time before the next project. Taking a deep breath, can help to reset the brain, slow your heart rate and cultivate a sense of control and focus on what you need to accomplish. Resisting the urge to do two jobs at the same time.
- Choose to be positive. Our brains are wired to think negative thoughts. But we can train our brain to be more positive and mindfully choose to focus on happier, positive thoughts. Challenge yourself to write down one positive thought each day.
- When you are stuck, take a stretch, get up and walk away from what you are doing. Changing your pattern will open your mind for creative thoughts to enter. When you open your senses to different stimulations you rewire the brain. It helps you to relax, reduces stress and opens up your creative channel.
- Have compassion. Reach out for help. Ask others to assist you on a task or assign it to someone who is capable of handling it. When you are compassionate to yourself, you are more compassionate and kind to others. Creating a culture of collaboration.
- Take time to smile. A smile actually brings a sense of wellbeing to your entire body and is also reflected in how others see you. Smiling brings awareness. Your body relaxes, and it can help to lower stress in challenging times.
Incorporating these small habits into your daily life will help you to focus on what is important in the moment, reduce mental exhaustion and the stress you experience when multitasking. Being mindful will improve your overall sense of well being, satisfaction for your job and life, and boosts your energy. Please leave a comment and share it on your social media. Thank you.