When we moved into this lake house, I made a decision to focus on healthy time management by setting aside my multitasking ways. Instead, I would focus on being intentional — being present — in whatever task I was doing at that moment.
Oh, bless me.
I should probably sit down before I reminisce next time.
You can probably ascertain that my worthy goal didn’t stick. Nope, not even for a week.
Some people (namely Jeff) think that multitasking is impossible.
It’s not. For some of us, it’s more like second nature.
Sure, I can cook sausage and eggs while simultaneously scheduling all the kids’ appointments for next week.
Yes, I can catch-up on emails while Jeff drives us to and from town for Wednesday night activities or Sunday morning church. That’s a 30-minute round trip after all!
And with that fancy dancy voice texting feature on my iPhone, I can fix my hair and put on makeup while catching up on any social media or texts.
Before you educate me on all the statistics that say otherwise, I know from personal experience (and from watching Jeff) that there is no way to get everything I get done in a day unless I multitask.
I’m not bragging.
I’ve lived this.
And if you’re the lady of the house, you may understand when I say no time is sacred or spared. I made a grocery list on the toilet yesterday for crying out loud.
Also, I typically read and edit Meredith and Kenny’s weekly paragraphs and essays during my one-hour lunch breaks from work (yes, while eating).
Multitasking DOES save time.
There’s no doubt about it.
But if we’re all honest, we’d have to recognize that we only save time so we can fill it with more tasks.
And that, my friends, isn’t saving time; it’s consuming it.
Can I get an “Amen?”
We steal our own time.
Not our husbands’ time.
Not our kids’ time.
Not our friends’ time or the time we allot to outside commitments.
And we need to own up to that truth because:
- We can’t keep up that pace. It’s grueling and leads to resentment and anger towards those who we think have it easier.
- When we lie to ourselves about the little things, we’ll lie to ourselves about the big things.
- Multitasking clutters the mind and shortchanges our thought processes.
So, today while I folded laundry on my bed, I made a choice to leave my phone in the other room on mute.
I would not multitask.
I would fold clothes.
There were a few calls I needed to make, but I told myself it could wait.
I realized that most of all, I needed quiet, uninterrupted time to just be.
I tossed everything from the dryer onto the bed, which is easy when your bed is less than two feet away, and I began folding.
Occasionally, I’d catch myself not folding at all — just looking out the window at the lake, lost in my thoughts.
I thought about the swing I saw on Pinterest that I want Jeff to build for us. “Too easy,” he said. “We’ll grind that stump down. Clear up that area. Let the one oak grow and build a swing just like that facing the water.”
I thought about last night’s impromptu birthday dinner my parents put together for my uncle. How I was glad to arrive there early so I could visit with them while helping my Momma in the kitchen. And then, I was thankful for the turmeric pork chop leftover wrapped in foil in the fridge waiting for my lunch hour. Scrumptious.
I thought about the nip in the air and wondered when I should pull out our down comforters for the winter. I love the feeling of that extra weight when I crawl under the covers.
I thought about this blog and how much it means to me that I can write to you. And, because it’s Monday, I thought about the fact that I didn’t publish a post early this morning as I usually do.
It took longer than usual to fold the clothes, but it didn’t matter. I didn’t care. I felt at peace — alone with my thoughts, relaxed, and ready for the rest of the day.
All my life I’ve enjoyed clearing clutter.
It’s satisfying to put things where they belong and free-up space.
My mind is no different.
It needs space.
I bet yours does too.
This week, I encourage you to stop stealing from yourself — to not assume that responsible time management means you must multitask every moment of every day.
Slow down, absorb the beauty around you, give thanks, and give yourself the opportunity to process your day, your life, and anything else in that noggin’ of yours.
If you loaded up your schedule (or your bullet journal) with too much to accomplish in a single day, you can’t reasonably expect to find balance. You certainly won’t be able to faithsize.
And? You have to surrender and simplify if you desire to truly declutter.
Tell Me Your Time Management Revelations
So, tell me your experiences with multitasking — or better yet, if you’ve chosen to live with less brain clutter — how did you do it? Or, how are you doing it?
Did you need to rid yourself of some responsibilities?
Have you decided a pristine home isn’t as necessary as you once believed?
Have you cut back on your work hours?
Are you getting up earlier and taking it slower?
I’m convinced we all have at least one healthy time management golden nugget we can pass along to each other. What’s yours?