I used to be so proud of what an excellent multitasker I was…heck, I would BRAG that I could clean up the kitchen, send an important work email, feed the kids AND talk on the phone at the same time!
I used to laugh and poke fun at my husband who would be wiping down our kitchen counters, while two hungry, crabby kids are begging for to be fed. He would say, “Ok kids, just wait until Daddy is done cleaning up the kitchen, then I can feed you!” I laughed and thought, this man really CAN NOT multi task. Lucky me…I am great at it!
Ha!….the joke was on me! After too many of these instances, I stood there, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of multitasking…sweating, frustrating and yelling at my kids, I thought…I got this all wrong! What is so great about being able to do 100 things, with a fraction of focus, at the same time? Why was I proud of this? I needed to learn from my husband.
For me this means, just because I am physically (mentally/emotionally) able to do something, does not mean I should!
Often times, I am afraid that we book our calendars and fill our days with things that we CAN do. Things that we are able to do…but do we stop and think………SHOULD I do this? Is it good for me/ my family to book this day?
When my husband entered an executive MBA program, our weekends as a family were cut in half. Every other weekend for 18 months, he would be in school, all day long, 2 days a weekend. We had a 2.5 year old and a 6 month old at the time. When the friend and family invitations kept rolling through the door, we had to proactively communicate to ourselves as well as to them…that we would be blocking off a few days every month to do nothing but be together. We asked them for understanding that if we decline an invitation it was not that we did not want to come/participate..it was just that our family time was a higher priority. We could have gone to these events. However, for us, in that time in our lives, we felt that ‘family’ time was more important.
Getting 53 things done at home and work may be possible for us (we are Moms…and are great at multitasking by nature!)…..if we want to run ourselves ragged. …or maybe, just maybe, we could work to tackle one thing at a time and feel a little less stressed and less guilty about trying to accomplish the 40 things that really…do not HAVE to get done at that precise moment.
Do you, proactively, plan periods of time, to do nothing? Do you have space on your calendar that says something like “sit in the backyard and read”………I challenge you to mark your calendar with more of these “events” so you can experience less stress and enjoy your life just a tad more!