The Art of Unitasking

The Art of Unitasking - Raleigh Moms Blog
Raise your hand, if like me, you find yourself wondering how awesome life would have been as a single person if you possessed the same productivity as you do now as a parent! Even on my laziest days, the amount of tasks I get done when my kids take just an hour-long nap is nothing short of magic!! Not to forget all the things I can do with just one hand, while I hold the baby in the other, and keep the two toddlers from killing themselves, or each other. I feel like I could have found a cure for a fatal disease if I had applied myself so well in my singlehood.

Parenting and Multi-tasking

In this day and age, parenting and multi-tasking seem like inseparable concepts, because I don’t know how I could survive without doing at least two things at the same time. In fact, as I write this, I am also on hold with a utility company, while simultaneously trying to watch and prep a recipe for dinner tonight. And this, by all accounts, is a rather slow and easy afternoon.

Over the holidays, when my ever so awesome and generous family was around and happy to pitch in with the daily grind, I, on more than one occasion, found myself alone with the freedom to do whatever the heck I wanted. In my dreams, I imagined myself lounging with a book, or actually paying attention to whatever show I was watching, or you know, calling a friend and catching up. The reality however, was so much different.
My brain which by now is so used to multi-tasking, was unable to focus just on one thing. So that when I picked up that book or watched that show, I also kept checking my phone to see what was going on in social media. And in lieu of calling a friend (which I usually do while driving or cooking or doing something else), I went straight to doing some stupid task around the house because time spent just talking felt like a waste!
In hindsight, I feel like a total loser for not making good use of all that alone time! I mean, what the heck was my brain thinking! So before I reach that place of no return, I have realized that I need to press the reset button somehow. And what better way to try and attempt this as part of my new year’s resolution. 

Adopting The Art of Unitasking

 So this year, to my list of things I would like to accomplish, I am also adding the art of UNITASKING. The ability to do, focus, and enjoy just one thing at one time. Maybe not every single moment of the day (because I am a realist OCD after all), but at least for a few hours a week I want to spend time focusing on the task at hand, instead of constantly planning and thinking about what else needs to be done.
I am hoping that my kids will be the first one to notice that when mom is playing with them, she isn’t also trying to listen to NPR or fold the laundry. Or that when I am going for a walk with the baby, I choose the scenic route instead of the one with that store where I need to pick up something. Or that when I am sitting and talking to my husband, I am not also sitting with my book or my phone in hand. Or that when I am cooking, I am truly enjoying and channeling my inner Ina Garten!
Am I crazy? Can this be done? 
All I know is that I am determined to slow things down and stop the madness of multi-tasking all the time. The world is moving so fast as is, without my kids needing a reminder from their mom too. Next time when you see your friends, brag about that moment when you enjoyed a cup of coffee while admiring the scenery, or when you turned on the music to silly dance with your kids even with the dishes piled up in the sink! Or gave into their request to give extra cuddles at bedtime! 

Here’s to 2018, and here’s to the art of Unitasking!

Let’s embrace it and make this the slowest year ever! 

Are y’all with me on this?

P.S. For those of you who are interesting in understanding the effects of multi-tasking even deeper, here is a great read This Is Your Brain on Multitasking, written for Psychology Today by Garth Sundem who is also the author of Your Daily Brain; Brain Trust; Brain Candy; and The Geeks’ Guide to World Domination.

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