5 ways to stop multitasking and start living mindfully
As modern individuals we pride ourselves on our ability to multitask. But it's a surefire way to rob ourselves of living in the present moment. Mashing (aka multitasking or adult ADD) is when we do more than one thing at once, and this has sadly become our way of life, mostly because we're feeling 'So damn busy,' all the time and our attention span has become so unbearably short.
Examples of mashing include:
- Driving the car while checking emails at the traffic lights = mashing.
- Lying in bed, while chatting to our partner, while checking Pinterest = mashing.
- Talking to our kids, while checking Instagram, while paying for the groceries = mashing.
- Cooking dinner, listening to music, on a phone call and halfway through putting a load in the washing machine = mashing.
- Taking a work phone call, while on an exercise walk and then sending ourselves a 'reminder' email to take care of it later while we continue to walk = mashing.
Mashing robs us of actually experiencing what is happening around us. It means we're never quite present and we can't pick up on the subtleties of each moment. Our instinct never really kicks in, because we're never quite listening and we move from task to moment to task in a blur. Why do we do this? It's simply mistaken intellect. We have somehow bought in to the idea that we will never get it all done if we don't do it all at once. But this is untrue. When we are mindful, we are completely present in each moment.
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Here are my five tips for living mindfully:
1. When you catch yourself mashing, stop immediately, and choose one task over the others and do that with focus.
2. Admit that you will never really do anything properly if you attempt to do everything all at once. One thing done well is far better than five things done at 20 per cent.
3. Be realistic about how long it takes you to do things. Unrealistic ideas about how much you can fit in encourages fear and mashing.
4. Learn a meditation practice that you can do daily with ease. Vedic meditation gives you the clarity to make wiser decisions and live more mindfully.
5. Try to give each task a little breathing space. Stop instilling panic by allowing yourself a few minutes in between each task.
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