Making waves

Posted on March 19, 2012

3


I don’t want to pooh-pooh our amazing capability of multi-tasking but sometimes, attempting to do it all is completely fruitless. Today, I experienced this first hand.  I rose late … no run as tapering before this weekends race … put on the kettle, sat down at my desk and then spent the next four hours doing the following, all simultaneously:

  • research for a feature in a guys mag on ending relationships
  • emails with Aiden re putting my own to rest
  • ghost-blogging for my favourite client
  • social media stuff for another client
  • completing a new passport application
  • booking internal flights for China in April
  • negotiating my tenancy renewal
  • handling a few emails re my soles for souls charity drive
  • fixing some email snags post a change of server at the weekend
  • answering the phone every time it rang

By lunchtime I was knackered, still in my PJ’s and promptly burst into tears for no apparent reason.  And whilst this happens to us overly sensitive gals sometimes for no rhyme or reason, I know fine well I was just trying to be too productive and in doing so, being completely unproductive … which upset me.

So … I got up, got dressed, went out, had some time out, breathed some air, took stock and then came home and made a few resolutions re my time management going forward.

In Dubai, actually anywhere, we all work so hard, play so hard, train so hard … our ‘holidays’ are climbing great peaks, rafting great rivers, running great distances or doing great deeds … not recharging as they could / should be.

And then we wonder why we burn out?!

Combine this with today’s digital world where we’ve lost our stopping points, finish lines and boundaries. Technology has blurred them beyond recognition and our work, as a result, follows us wherever we go. It’s like an itch we can’t resist scratching or a scab we can’t stop picking … even though both will only render them worse.

Splitting our attention will only ever leave us partially focused in multiple activities but rarely fully absorbed in any one. Statistics even report that by switching away from our primary task to do something else, we increase the time it takes to finish that task by 25%. Add that time to the hours in our days, the days in our week, the weeks in our year and it definitely adds up!

All this boils down to one single principle … the art of being engaged. 

When at work, be fully engaged.

When at play, be fully engaged.

When training, be fully engaged.

It’s the only way to make waves. And only then do we get to enjoy the surf.

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