02/12/2020 # Home
Do ONE thing at a time. Scrap multi-tasking.
Whether that’s taking out the garbage, waiting for the bus, driving to work, or making a sandwich… do ONE thing at a time.
- When you’re taking out the garbage, take out the garbage. Don’t listen to music.
- When you’re waiting for the bus, wait for the bus. Don’t check your email.
- When you’re driving, drive. Don’t talk on the phone — or worse, text, or do your hair in the rearview mirror. (Cyclists and pedestrians everywhere thank you.)
- When you’re making a sandwich (or eating it), focus on that sandwich. Don’t watch TV.
Whatever you do today, do ONE thing at a time. (Gee, where’ve you heard that before?)
Immerse yourself fully in the execution of that ONE task.
Give it your full attention. Focus. Without distractions.
Even if that task is tedious or banal.
When — and only when — that task is done, move on to the next thing.
The myth of multi-tasking
Try a little experiment. Put some music with lyrics on.
Now, while you’re listening to that first song, try to sing “Happy Birthday” in your head.
After trying that, try to remember the lyrics from the first song.
Kinda hard, isn’t it?
Even though you probably know “Happy Birthday” pretty well. And even though you were “listening” to the first song.
When we multi-task, we end up doing less. And we do those tasks worse.
Think back to our blog on awareness and mental skills training. Remember how top athletes and successful people are able to focus their attention on important tasks.
A mountain climber isn’t checking Facebook while she’s scaling Everest. A violinist isn’t listening to his voicemail while he’s on stage.
In order to do their best, they need to be fully immersed in one thing at a time.
How does this apply to PA Coaching?
Today, we’re doing some brain training. You’re probably not used to doing one thing at a time.
We’re giving you this experiment for a few reasons:
- This helps us realize how much multitasking we do in daily life, and how distracted we are most of the time.
- This helps us slow down, pay attention, and focus. Focus is essential to success, whether in athletics or any other domain of life.
- This helps us think about what is truly important. If you have only limited attention, where do you choose to spend it?
- This lowers our stress level. It’s tough at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be a lot more relaxed with only one thing to worry about at a time.
- This helps us think about how to apply what we observe in your fitness journey. How can you stay focused on your goals and your daily habits? Where and how do you get distracted?
Expect this to be challenging. That’s OK. This is harder than it looks.
As always, notice and name whatever you think or observe about yourself while doing this.
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