Single-tasking is the answer in a world where we have a full plate spinning out-of-control. For most of my adult life, I thought it was best to multitask and that motherhood depended on my ability to do multiple things at once.
The Truth About Multi-Tasking
The simple truth is that multitasking just doesn’t work!
It might seem like we are getting more done when we do several things at once, but the truth is that business just causes overwhelm and not productivity.
All of us have trouble staying off social media. Notifications are ‘dinging’ constantly with a call-to-action that compels us to stop mid-stream in whatever we are doing to pay attention.
I wake up in the morning feeling like a myriad of tasks must be done immediately. It’s no wonder I walked through the house doing parts of many things and finishing nothing.
Do you know the feeling?
Single Tasking will Get More Done
When you are trying to get multiple things done fast, it is like switching back and forth between different apps.
Thing is, your brain isn’t a computer and you can’t switch back and forth between different tasks and stay focused.
When you add motherhood to this scenario, we are always multitasking. Our kids come to us one after the other with issues and requests needing immediate solutions.
When you add multitasking to motherhood, it looks like this:
You start mixing up a batch of chocolate chip cookies and get about half the ingredients in the bowl when you remember that you have to swap the laundry.
You stop what you’re doing and run to the washer and swap some of the clothes to the dryer. Then you remember the garbage was never put out!
You come back into the kitchen and remember the cookies!
You dump the rest of the ingredients into the bowl, meanwhile, your kids have a-zillion-questions.
Later when you and your kids try a cookie, you all gag because you added salt instead of sugar!!
Two days later you find moldy clothes that never made it to the dryer!
This was an exaggeration that we all can identify with!
The point is that if you had focused on single-tasking, you would have got more done!
Full Plate and an Empty Life
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might,[a] for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Having a full plate could result in an empty life.
Yes, with a full life your schedule will be full to overflowing. There’s no doubt about that!
Years ago, I read a book by Dr. David Elkind called ‘The Hurried Child‘ where he talked about rushing young children around to this activity to another. The premise of his book was that there was no time for the child to slow down and just unwind, relax, and play.
We think we are doing the right thing for our children and ourselves by living too full a life. The thing is that we are leaving little to no time for some of the best things in life.
An OVER-Full Life Tends To:
- Produce stress
- Create overwhelm
- Less productivity
- Difficulty focusing
- Limits relationship building
Basically, you will have filled up your life with activities and responsibilities that *look* wonderful but have created emptiness.
A full life is a life poured out for the Lord, not filled to the brim with business.
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, Colossians 3:23
Why You Should be Single-Tasking
I realize that motherhood means that half the time you will feel like you are pulled in all different directions.
I get that.
I have seven kids.
I homeschooled them (and lived to tell you).
Focus is when you are single-tasking rather than being supermom and multitasking.
- A mom doing too many things at once will be stressed. Single-tasking will get something accomplished faster!
- Turn off or limit your notifications (like turn off Facebook group notifications and other app notifications . . . you get the idea).
- Focus on one task until it is done. You will feel that surge of accomplishment!
- Look your kids (or husband) in the eye when they talk to you. Put your phone in your pocket and don’t keep reading, texting, or scrolling. LISTEN!!
- Color, read aloud, take a walk with your kids. Build relationships with those in your life.
- Take time to breathe – the moment you are living IS SHORT. Do nothing. Dream. Pause.
I want you to take the time to step back and see that you have enough.
Doing less is more.
This is what I have found since God put my life on hold (so it seemed) when I broke my clavicle.
There was so little I could do.
I had to silence the voices causing guilt in my life that told me to do, do, do.
I had to step back, pause, and start over slowly as my arm healed.
I came out of this experience realizing that I had to do less by doing one thing at a time through single-tasking.
At the end of the day, I want God to say, “Well done” because all I accomplished was for His glory and His good.
Have you been living with a full plate and an empty life? Does single-tasking resonate with you? Why?