I realised something the other day.
I’ve always got multiple tabs and lot’s of different documents open. Even though I manage to get everything done, I flit constantly between one task and another. It’s haphazard, chaotic and on a busy day it can make my head spin.
I can’t listen to a whole song without skipping to the next. I can’t watch television without also reading my twitter feed.
I can feel my attention span decreasing.
My mind wanders when I talk to somebody. It’s been months since I finished a novel. I’m reading emails when I’m on the phone. I can never completely relax. But more importantly, I haven’t been giving my friends my full attention.
I need to regain my focus.
So I’ve started to concentrate on just doing one thing at a time. Having one document open until it’s finished. Then closing it and opening the next. Working through my list slowly and methodically, valuing the sense of achievement that comes from crossing things off.
I’ve been learning that right clicking and hitting ‘open in a new tab’ is not my friend. Instead I open that page, read it all, and then go back. Or sometimes I decide it isn’t of value, so I choose not to procrastinate by opening it.
It’s been painful. I’ll go to open twitter while something else loads and then stop myself. Seriously,what is so wrong with me? Why am I so afraid of being left with my own thoughts for 20 seconds?
I have to make an effort to work like this, but I’m hoping it will become easier. It already seems more rewarding. I’m calmer and feel more productive.
I’ve already been thinking about how I can carry this ‘One Thing At A Time’ mantra into other areas of my life:
- Not listening to music while I walk to work.
- Cooking with fewer ingredients.
- Turning off my phone for periods of time.
- Wearing one outfit until it needs to be washed, rather than buying into the idea that I can’t wear the same thing for two days in a row.
- Carrying only what I actually need in my handbag, rather than planning for all eventualities.