At the end of a long day of meetings, I stood at the stove crafting homemade Gouda Mac and Cheese with my laptop strategically placed on the island. In between stirring my butter, milk, and flour mixture I busily responded to emails.
With the mac and cheese prepped, I popped it in the oven, swooped up the laptop and headed down to the basement to get a quick workout in while my masterpiece baked to gooey perfection.
In between sets of squats, curls, and rows, again, I answered emails and took a quick peek at Twitter. Even though I was exercising, I was tense; feeling stressed, and actually, a bit overwhelmed.
And then it hit me, just do one thing at a time.
Duh! As a reflected back to the start of the new year (and honestly, way beyond) I realized that I have allowed myself to be in a near constant state of activity. An unhealthy and (Gasp!) probably unproductive constant state of activity.
The day of my revelation was Ash Wednesday, the start of the season of Lent. I had already contemplated ways that I would make my Lenten journey meaningful this year, but in the middle of my cross training between exercise and email my focus was clear. Spend Lent learning how to do one thing at a time.
About 12 or 14 years ago I had a pastor, Joe Mulroney, who challenged me to think about Lent not simply as a time to refrain from something like chocolate or wine, but instead to use Lent as an opportunity to truly change a habitat that needs reform—to adopt a new practice that will extend beyond Lent. I guess I am a slow learner, but on Ash Wednesday 2018 all these pieces came together. So, I am working every day to do one thing at a time.
I have stopped taking my phone with me to workout. If I am watching a game with my family, the laptop sits idle in another room. I am not reading email while I am listening on a conference call. You get the idea.
Old habits die hard, so I have definitely regressed at points along this journey. But, I am aware of the impact of my addiction to multi-tasking and I am pursuing a journey toward a singular focus.
On days when I am successful, I feel better—mentally and physically. I know one thing at a time is healthier for me, my family, and my clients. I am thankful that I was nudged to take this journey during Lent, and I am hopeful that my reformation will become a life-long commitment. Please feel free to hold me accountable the next time we meet.
If multi-tasking is your addiction too, I encourage you to consider one thing at a time. It is never too late to start the journey.