Last Friday I spoke at Network Ireland’s Conference. A new mother in the audience described how in order to get everything done, she processes her email on her smart phone while breastfeeding.
Having a small child or children in the house while trying to start a business is hard work. Babies are very dependent of your time and if you didn’t multitask you feel like you’d never get anything done.
I know how it feels because I have been there. I sat typing away on my laptop with my new born strapped to my chest in a rainbow coloured sling. I multitasked with my attention always elsewhere. The first time I was truly present with my two youngest boys was on a twelve hour flight to South Africa. I played with them fully immersed, for once not thinking about business tasks or household chores that I could be doing.
These years of my life can be described as push, strive, drive, my mind always active, never satisfied.
In my opinion it doesn’t work, either you burn yourself out or your children loose out on your time and attention.
You can do Anything not Everything
The only way to make it work is to identify your priorities and eliminate all the rest of the things that take up your time.
As David Allen reminds us “You can do anything but not everything”
If you can’t seem to fit it all in, either you are trying to do too much or you are wasting your time on things that don’t matter.
When you identify your priorities, clear out the clutter from your life and organize what is left over, then you can achieve the things that you want to achieve.
Life shouldn’t pass you by in a blur, take time to appreciate each day, each moment. When your child tries to tell you about what happened in school or about a silly television programme or game. Stop, put down your smart phone and really listen not just to the words but listen to the emotion behind the words. The excitement, the wonder, the innocence and feel grateful. It won’t be long before your child is a teenager and you will be lucky to get 5 words from them.
In Get Set for Success, I will show you a way to achieve your goals with less stress and more ease. In 7 weeks you will learn how to focus on what you want and make a plan to go out and get it.
I have included a course overview
Get Set for Success – 7 Weeks to a Happier More Organized You
Week 1 –
Clearing and Organizing your Space
Clearing and Organizing Your Mind
Goal Setting Mania
Installing Positive Habits
Goal Setting Tools
Removing the Barriers Preventing Your Success
Full Details of the Course will follow with the start date, cost and sign up details and as a subscriber to ciaraconlon.com you will receive a substantial discount.
Lovely piece! Unfortunately the opposite is becoming the norm, which will only be recognised in hindsight. Mindfulness creates a better memory, less mistakes and a task well done! Thank you
Thanks Stasia, it’s true if we stayed in the present moment more often it would help our focus as well as reducing stress and anxiety and make us happier.
My kids aren’t little anymore, but I definitely struggle with being one focused.
I do make sure to spend time in meditation, so at least for a short time I am living in the moment and keep working on the rest.
I don’t even have kids and I can see how multitasking doesn’t work well. I just don’t give whatever is in front of me my full attention and it suffers.
Good luck with your course, Ciara!
I loved your quote: You can do anything, not everything! I had never heard that before and it captures so much in one sentence. How easy it is to think that doing everything should be the top priority in life!!
We multitask because we have so much to do, but when we multitask, we do nothing well. So what’s the point? It takes longer and the work is have as good. I’d rather do one thing well and then move on.
Of course, it’s not quite as easy done as said. But your course sure looks like it’ll be a great help!
Thanks Lori, thanks Bobbi it’s an ongoing lesson, maybe all we need is a daily or hourly reminder to ask ourselves are we living in the present!
Hi Lori, yes everyday I try and ask myself can I simplify, do I need to do everything I do. It’s so important to spend the majority of time on the things that will make a difference. Keep focusing on the anything and not everything!
Thanks Kim, I’m very excited about the course and I’m getting great feedback so far. It’s includes all the things I did to finally allow myself to achieve all the important things and eliminate the rest. “He who chases two rabbits catches none”
Being mindful. This could help us all be more content, engaged and probably thinner if I were mindful when eating. While my children are grown I am cncerned about seeing parents on their smart phones during dinner out, the playground, school programs etc. My grandchildren love to come over because I give undivded and mindful attention. Great reminder and congrats on your blog nomination.
I was completely caught up in multitasking and the business of life but still always felt that I had failed to give/receive what I needed to.
To my surprise being mindful doing one thing at a time in blocks of time gave me a far greater sense of value and ability to give/receive.
Techniques that I used were:
1). Wake up earlier and do what was most important first. Before anyone wakes up I have done my writing. This gives me a good start to the day.
2). Eliminated activities and people who cluttered my life, some completely and others doing them less frequently.
3). Introduced daily anchors that kept me grounded ie walking, writing and meditation, they are now a normal part of daily life.
4). When with family, being there, they are a priority.
Your course sounds fantastic and well worth taking, 7 weeks of life changing value.
I agree that multitasking is overrated! I’ve discovered this the hard way and am fighting my way back to mindfulness — and being in the moment. Works so much better for being able to focus on what’s important!
Thanks Jane, your grandchildren are lucky to have a very talented and mindful grandmother. Mindful eating now there’s a challenge. I’m guilty of standing up while eating I always multitask while eating breakfast and usually lunch so thank you for the reminder
thank you for the great suggestions. Getting up early is a great idea because once you have completed tasks for yourself you will feel much more satisfied and content for the rest of the day. No matter what comes your way and disturbs your plan you will still feel accomplished.
I have problem being focused on one project at a time, although I know that it is the most efficient way. The problem is that I am too impatient and want things happening fast 🙂
Nice post, written in simple way – as always:)
What a great piece and so important. I am a big fan of David Allen as well. The job I left after 15 years was about three jobs in one. People waiting outside my office, talking to me while I was on the phone and (seriously) typing something else because of a deadline. I was the queen of multitasking. But it was tearing me apart. Non-stop, 24/7 365 (well except for the three days I escaped with no phone, planes or devices to a quiet cottage). It is becoming the norm for people in this high stress world and you are right, nothing truly gets done. Though we get ‘done-in’. Spending quality, mindful time with children is so important. They have a way of pulling us away from all of he nonsense and instinctively know how to immerse themselves into the joy in front of them.
What a wealth of information. Thank you for all of your great content.
Thanks Lee. that cottage idea sounds attractive, we all need that regularly. When my book has sold as many copies as GTD I’ll buy a cottage by the lake, until then I will try to be mindful!
Like you I spent many years multi-tasking, just half listening to my kids, talking on the phone while I cleaned or cooked supper, etc. etc. It’s kind of like overcoming an addiction to move past it, but the more mindful moments I embrace, the better a I feel and suddenly new vistas of creative energy begin to open. It’s a little bit of a two steps forward, one step back process – but oh so worth it. Sounds like a wonderful course offering Ciara! So many of us in the modern world can use this guidance!
Good luck with the course! I think I’ll just take the easy way out and avoid becoming a parent… for as long as I can 🙂
and avoid the opportunity of making lots of mini happy humans? – I don’t think so!
Thanks Sarah, yes I agree life is a bit of a dance, sometimes you feel like you know all the steps and then you get them all wrong again, but we must keep enjoying the music!
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