When did it get just so hard to only do one thing at a time?

Yesterday, I finally found the time to do the first meditation session on the Calm app. In the meditation, the voice spoke about how our minds are no longer used to single-tasking. Of course, this led to me and my busy mind going off a-wandering, thinking about how true that was. The irony of the fact that I’d lost focus on the meditation at that point was not lost on me!

It takes work to single-task.

My yoga teacher calls it monkey mind πŸ’. The inability to still your mind and focus.

I find it really hard to sit and stay focused on one thing these days – particularly at leisure. I’ll be watching the TV and then check my phone. Or reading a book, and then find myself checking my work email. Even in yoga class, I find it incredibly hard to still my monkey mind during meditation. It’s horrible! When did I get this way??

When people talk about needing to ‘break the twitch’ I can relate. It’s such an apt way if describing it – it’s like we’re junkies. Waiting for the latest notification or compulsively refreshing our feed. We’ve lost the ability to be bored. To sit and wait somewhere and just be.

I’ve slowly been taking steps to increase my single-tasking capabilities. Some strategies I’m trying include:

  • Turning off all social media & email notifications on my phone
  • Removing my work email from my phone
  • Charging my phone in the living room overnight, rather than the bedroom
  • Keeping my phone in my bag or at least off the table when catching up with friends – to ensure you’re focussed just on them
  • On that note, also trying to avoid restaurants with TVs – is there anything more distracting??
  • On my recent holiday, we initially went with no global roaming, no internet, and no TV – to really allow our brains to slow down and become less distracted
  • And most recently, embracing meditation to become more mindful – one session completed so far!

I’m reading around for more things I can do. I would welcome any suggestionsΒ if you have them. How do you single-task??


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