The Shocking Time Management Revelation Discovered While Folding Laundry

While I folded laundry.

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.

Hahahahahahaha!
Bwahahaha!
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.

We.Steal.Our.Own.Time.

And we need to own up to that truth because:

  1. We can’t keep up that pace. It’s grueling and leads to resentment and anger towards those who we think have it easier.
  2. When we lie to ourselves about the little things, we’ll lie to ourselves about the big things.
  3. 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.

Time ManagementIt’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.

Trust me.

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?

Spill it.

I’m convinced we all have at least one healthy time management golden nugget we can pass along to each other. What’s yours?

Blessings!

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Heather Sanders

72 thoughts on “The Shocking Time Management Revelation Discovered While Folding Laundry”

  1. CIndyK says:

    Less is more, baby. “Be still and know that I am God,” comes to mind. Isaiah 46:10. I think folding laundry is very therapeutic by the way.

    1. CIndyK says:

      After letting this post marinate in my mind overnight, I have more to add. I have gone from a mother of two to three this year through adoption. This dramatic shift has taught me I cannot multitask well anymore. I am trying to do one thing at a time and do it well. For right now, I feel like I do not do most things well, timely, or intelligently. This is not false humility, it is just how things are for the moment to the glory of God. So, I am learning that ‘No’ is a complete sentence that does not need explanation. The world will continue to spin if I am not team mom this season. I have no desire to be a hero or supermom by all my ‘activities’. I am learning to ask for help too. Especially from my children. I do not want to be angry with those in my life if they do not recognize I have a lot to do and need help. They are more than willing to help most of the time. :)I firmly believe we make time to do what we want, as well. Some say, I do not have time to read a book. Yes, you do. You just choose to do something else. 🙂

      1. Debbie says:

        I love this: “No is a complete sentence….”

        I actually put this into practice this week when someone asked if I could go to lunch with hardly any notice. As much as I really wanted to, I knew it would lead to more stress because of all that would be undone if I took that time to go to lunch. I said “No, sorry I can’t.” But, I started to give a bunch of reasons why (all true), and then stopped myself and said, you know….I don’t owe an explanation! I need to respect my own decision enough to not have to explain myself into a corner!

      2. CIndyK says:

        Debbie~ I have learned to rest in my ‘No’ or I can, with my many words use lame excuses and even stretch the truth at times. No good. Proverbs says, “Where words are many, sin is not absent but he who holds his tongue is wise.” I love that you caught yourself in your excuses. Well done.

      3. Heather Sanders says:

        CindyK – Two things you’ve said resonate with me. First you said that you are “trying to do one thing at a time and do it well.”

        That is one of the biggest reasons I push myself to stop multitasking. I recognize it creates mediocre work.

        Next, you said “I am learning that ‘No’ is a complete sentence that does not need an explanation.”

        I do not have trouble (now) saying “No.” However, I always want to justify it in some way; probably because I don’t want the person asking to think less of me, which is ridiculous, but my mind does go there.

      4. Heather Sanders says:

        Debbie – Now that I’m working full-time hours Monday – Friday, I cannot go out on lunch dates. It would mean adding time to the end of my day, which I don’t want to do. So at this point, the “No” is an easy decision for lunch invites, but I used to struggle with this too.

        I WANTED to hang out with my girlfriends, but I had to discipline myself to get my kids and myself home so I could show them by example the necessity of prioritizing school over hanging out with friends.

  2. Mrs. Flinger says:

    I’ve been doing this very same thing! I started a mindfulness practice and one defining principal is to do what you are doing. “Eat when you are eating. Read when you are reading. Drive when you are driving.” Funny you say folding laundry because that’s the most difficult one for me. I’m always doing two things with that most tedious task. But you’re right: we do steal our own time and it can’t be kept up. Time for changes!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Mrs. Flinger – It is GOOD to see you here. 🙂

      You have made enormous changes in your life over the last year. I’ve watched that happen on Instagram. What was the catalyst?

      Love these words:
      “Do what you are doing. Eat what you are eating. Read when you are reading. Drive when you are driving.”

      It is soooo much easier to do than write, that’s for certain.

      Mindfulness, indeed.

  3. Mother of Pearl says:

    One way I’ve found of decluttering my head is to seek more silence. Send the kids outside, turn off the radio. Less external stimuli. What a difference it makes to grow times of silence in my life. It lets me slow down, get off the go-go-go train the world is on, and stop merely responding.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Mother of Pearl – You know what, you’re so right about that quiet time.

      A few days ago, I was headed to town in the Suburban, and I chose not to play music. It just felt like I needed to be in the quiet. As I drove over the dam on the Southwest side of our lake, the silence felt perfect. It made me pay closer attention to the squirrels scampering across the road, the tall pines on the county road, the old pickup who was driving 45 in a 60 mph zone (that took patience in the midst of the silence).

      But yes, I think it did just make me sloooooooow my thoughts and “be.”

      I need to think more about my need for silence, thank you.

      1. Lynne R says:

        Good to see you practicing patience while driving…strengthening those muscles.

        Multi-tasking sometimes is good.

        O ;-D

  4. Cori says:

    Facebook. Clutter. I find I can be feeling perfectly content and then I check facebook, for the 4 millionth time in a day, and instantly I feel different, and I have always called it clutter. It is a bad feeling really. I find I get information I didn’t need. I see things that make me anxious. I see something that I feel I should worry about. All these different feelings I don’t need really. Just clutter in my mind. Try as I might not to I check the phone all. day.long. My goal today will be to live. Just live the life God gave me today and that does not include seeing anything on Facebook.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Cori – I deleted the Facebook app from my phone because I was crazy stupid about checking it a couple of years ago. Then, I went off FB altogether. I’m back now, but I check it every other day or so.

      However, I check my mail incessantly, and I check Instagram about the same. I love Instagram. All that visual candy. Oh my goodness, you are so right about the clutter of social media.

    2. Ashlie Charest says:

      Thank you for posting this! I feel the same way about Facebook and have decided it is a complete distraction from real life. Keeping up with old friends and extended family is great, but the trade off isn’t worth it.

  5. Debbie says:

    First off – I echo Cori about Facebook! It definitely clutters my brain!

    I used to buy the idea of multitasking and must admit that I still do it to some degree. I will make my menu while I’m already in the kitchen cooking or anything else “kitcheny” while I’m already in that room cooking. That works for me.

    I will catch up on my favorite tv shows while folding all the laundry at the end of the day. I do this purposely so I can watch The Bachelor or DWTS and not annoy my husband 🙂

    But……those are just small things compared to truly multitasking, which I feel, can become an addiction of sorts.

    I watch my husband barely focus on anything because he’s so focused on multiple things. He thinks he does it well, but I see the scattered way that he functions at times and it actually saddens me. He’s always had fast paced jobs that require him to take care of many things all at the same time, but even when he comes home, he can’t just sit and enjoy a show without checking email or FB or answering some text from work (sometimes not his fault – he’s the boss).

    This is not to criticize him, but just to say that looking in from the outside – it can be counterproductive when it causes you to do nothing well, but many things half-way. When you are doing 5 things and you have to turn around and make trips back to wherever because you were so scattered that you forgot something – then you’ve just cost yourself time instead of saving it.

    Sorry to write a book, but obviously you hit on something that I have an opinion about 🙂

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Debbie – I’m wondering if it’s considered multitasking when the general “theme” of the activity overlaps. For instance, cooking and making a grocery list. There is a lot of “down” time in cooking, but when you remain in the kitchen while waiting for the pot to boil, there is considerable time to throw together a menu.

      I think it is discerning that you call true multitasking what it is – “addiction.” We get into this groove of go-go-go and slowing down feels nearly impossible, and somehow, uncomfortable.

  6. Pat in Indy says:

    This got me thinking, too. My conclusion: The more you value something, or someone, the less likely you are to multitask while being with that task or person. So, think about what you value most. A memory from many years ago came immediately to mind. A few years after my first husband died and I was re-entering the dating world, I met a nice man. However, EVERY time he called I would make sure I had something to work on to make that time worthwhile! I’d fold laundry, stir something on the stove, etc. It finally occurred to me that this relationship was going nowhere because I simply didn’t place enough value on our time together to stay totally in that moment. I think it was mutual because we happily went our separate ways. I really enjoy reflecting on these topics…..thank you, Heather!!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Pat in Indy – There is endless amounts of truth to this statement:

      “The more you value something, or someone, the less likely you are to multitask while being with that task or person.”

      Goodness.

    2. Joyce T says:

      I have had to do that with my husband and kids even. I was terrible about multi-tasking when they were trying to talk to me. I missed so much of what they were saying, and then later it would come back to bite me: “Mom, I told you that already! You weren’t listening!” I try to be much more deliberate now; shut the stove off, fold the laptop shut, turn the tv off (or turn the volume down and face away from it).
      Of course, my now-teenagers are much more forceful about letting me know when I’m distracted. And my hubby is more understanding about me minimizing the distraction from his tv. He is extremely single-minded in his work habits. I’ve told him the house could be burning down around his ears and he wouldn’t realize it until the firemen drag him away from his computer. And he agreed with me!
      It’s hard when I’m responsible for so many aspects of our lives; some tasks just simply cannot be completed all at once. I sprayed the bathtub with cleaner, but it needs to sit 15 minutes before I scrub it. Oops, that was yesterday…I should go check on that…I can always finish this comment later. Maybe while I’m eating breakfast….

      1. Heather Sanders says:

        Joyce T – You paint a picture many of us can relate to, and I’d like to blame it on technology, but more likely it’s always been a part of who we are as women.

        You wrote: “It’s hard when I’m responsible for so many aspects of our lives; some tasks just simply cannot be completed all at once. I sprayed the bathtub with cleaner, but it needs to sit 15 minutes before I scrub it. Oops, that was yesterday…”

        I can relate to this EXACT situation.
        And this is when I think multitasking can’t be all bad because really…am I supposed to just sit on the floor for 15 minutes absorbing the fumes? Of course not, but am I so harried in all my other tasks that I forget I sprayed the tub in the first place? Well…yes, admittedly – I am.

        I appreciate your honesty and the way this so visually represents the life of a momma.

        Blessings!

  7. tcmullinax says:

    Let it go! Let it go-o!

    I am a unitasker from way back. Nothing is as important as my sanity. My family would rather have me sane than rushing around making the mood in our home crazy.

    I have no problem going to bed with the dishes from dinner piled high in the sink. They’re just dishes! I would rather spend that time kicking my family’s butt at Jeopardy! If I want to watch tv during the day, I do. I get up at the commercial break and do something constructive. The constant is that there will always be “more” to do. I could make a list of things I want to accomplish on any given day, but no matter how many things I write down, there will always be “more”, and I refuse to beat myself up like that.

    Multitasking is a vicious cycle. If you’re cooking eggs, cook eggs. It will give your brain some time to wander, and that will keep you sane.

    1. Pat in Indy says:

      Love it!! The dishes in the sink part really hit home with me!! 🙂 I need to realize going to bed on time is more important than those last dishes.

    2. Heather Sanders says:

      tcmullinax – You are absolutely right! There WILL always be more to do. My lists go on and on and on too. FINE! I’ll JUST cook the eggs, already! 😉

    3. Kristin says:

      Yes, well, if I get too lax my house looks like it does now. Laundry on the couch that hasn’t been put away for a week. my desk a disaster. Kitchen half clean…every.single.day. Dining room table filled with way too many craft/school/office/other stuff. And it is hard to catch up. So I have trouble letting go because if I let things go, it is so so so so so hard to get back.
      But I need more discipline to let things like the internet go. Facebook is almost non-existent for me because it is such a time waster. But once I get super tired then I sit at my desk to get work done and goof off on other stuff.
      Love reading everyone’s ideas…

      1. Kristin says:

        Whoops let me clarify “time waster”! That would be Facebook is a “time waster” for ME!! I have caught myself spending an hour or more looking at what all of my friends are doing, friends I no longer see on a regular basis…when I have not even had enough time that day to really focus on each of my children and/or my husband. So I had to really cut back because I can get a bit obsessive. Sigh. Now I have replaced Facebook with reading the news online… It is all about self-discipline for me to really focus on each task at hand. Maybe I’ll go fold a load of laundry now!!

      2. Heather Sanders says:

        Kristin – I think you nailed it on the head when you said “It is all about self-discipline for me to really focus on each task at hand.” That IS what it’s all about. I’m discovering that’s what almost everything we NEED to do that we DON’T do (in lieu of doing something ELSE) is affected by.

  8. Kristi says:

    God gave us a most excellent solution – “You have six days to labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work…” Ex. 20:9-10a. Honestly, when I started intentionally reading and following God’s Word (even after being a Christian all my life!), I found so many precious nuggests like this that showed me how God planned for this crazy world. Starting at 18 minutes before sundown on Friday to after dark on Saturday, all technology in my home is turned off (phone, tv, computers, everything!) Any time my mind goes to work (this includes kids or housework), I shut it down. Jotting down reminders is not allowed (for me)! I never realized how much I needed that break, but now I can start Sundays and work straight through the week at mock speed, joyfully (!!!!), knowing that the “rest” is ahead. Bless you, Heather!!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Kristi – That’s how I feel in my morning Bible study/prayer journal time. The more I dig, the more I discover how simple His plan for our lives is, and how difficult we make it for ourselves.

      Rest is a GODLY behavior and endeavor. We need to keep reminding ourselves of that.

  9. Laura Brown says:

    Once again, you hit me over the head. I am constantly multitasking while at home. I never stop to do just one thing. Even now, I’m cooking bacon in the oven while having my children get dressed for the day and typing this. Slowing down and paying attention to one thing at a time is so much better. Especially where my children are concerned. My 5yo daughter is, um…challenging at times. 🙂 God gave her to me for a reason, and perhaps this is it. She needs a lot of one-on-one attention because she just is that way. I am thankful for healthy, happy children, but sometimes I expect them to be more self-sufficient when I need them to be because it’s convenient for me. Children are never a convenience. They are a blessing and a gift, and should not be multitasked. Thanks Heather!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Laura Brown – Trust me, you aren’t the only momma who has said that “sometimes I expect them to be more self-sufficient when I need them to be because it’s convenient for me.”

      I think it is natural to want a break, but I agree with you that we can bury our heads in our electronic devices and not look up to give them the one-on-one attention they need.

      Yep, I agree that children shouldn’t be “multitasked” – even when they’re older, like mine. PEOPLE in general should not be subject to our multitasking tendencies. That ties in with what Pat in Indy wrote above.

    2. Kristin says:

      Wow, this resonated with me!! I have a 4 year old that requires so much one-on-one time that I can hardly make it through the day sometimes. Either I give her what she needs and don’t finish school with the other kids and my house is a mess…or I ignore her too much and she is bugging her siblings and whining at me and my house gets stressful. What a lovely reminder that children are a blessing and a gift, and not to be multitasked. I have not even thought of the fact that God must have given her to me for a reason! Thank you! Oh how I want to look back on this treasured time with her and know I valued it rather than just threw it away by expecting her to be more self-sufficient…

  10. Karina says:

    The most intentional way I’ve decluttered is getting rid of Facebook. It was hard, after checking it 20 times per day, for years, but it has made my life much more intentional. When I was on Facebook, I found myself constantly swatting my children away (figuratively). Now the multitasking that is accomplished is much more focused on things that matter to the daily life of my family rather than the daily lives of others! I think multitasking is pretty valuable, as long as, with all things, it is done with moderation and a vigilant eye for when it might be becoming a problem.

    1. CIndyK says:

      Karina- You rock! I love that you made the change to get off FB.

    2. Heather Sanders says:

      Karina – I touched on this in a comment above to Debbie. You said, “I think multitasking is pretty valuable…” and I think there are some things that group together nicely, but other things…not so much. That’s where your “moderation” and a “vigilant eye for when it might be becoming a problem” comes in. Good thoughts. 🙂 Kudos for kicking FB to the curb too!

  11. cocobean says:

    We recently moved – to a smaller space… Unpacking has taken longer than I want and the clutter is literally making me itchy. It’s also getting me side-eye glances from the hubby about the continual clutter…

    I resisted the desire to send everyone away so I could have a few hours to clear this clutter without interruption and tried really hard to live in the moments with my family this weekend. I probably only delayed sending them off, but I am happy I took those moments.

    Of course, it isn’t that they are interrupting me on purpose so much as their being here makes me more mindful of their needs and I get easily derailed.

    However, we are reaching the point where my need will be to clear the literal clutter so I can get rid of the figurative clutter.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      cocobean – I can completely relate because clutter makes me “itchy” too! I think it’s okay to send kids off to independently play (for short periods) when they are at an age where they can handle it, or if your husband would rather play with kids than unpack. 🙂

      But oh, do I understand that desire to “live in the moments with my family”. Sometimes it is worth the chaos to BE together and breathe in all the good stuff of family!

  12. Heidi says:

    Great post! I love your writings.

  13. Kathy G in WA says:

    Thank you for sharing. I was encouraged. I agree that we fill up our poor brains til the important stuff spills out of our ears and only the unnecessary, most immediate stays. For me, keeping a written task list helps me to keep the list from running in my head. Dump it out of my head and write it on the page.

    We have a quiet household–the only time the radio is on is during dinner prep or working. I think that has helped my kids and me to be ‘still’. My oldest is now a college freshman, and he is amazed (and annoyed) at how noisy people are–shouting, playing music loudly, TVs booming! Thanking God for earplugs. 🙂

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Kathy G – I have to do the “written task list” during my bible studies. Everything I’ve ever forgotten will be remembered when I’m trying to focus and BE with the Lord. If I can quickly write it down and move on, it’s out of my head. So yes, I agree: ” Dump it out of my head and write it on the page.” Great tip!

      We do NOT have a quiet household (and I’m as much a culprit as my kids). But I DO have Bose Noise Canceling Headphones (courtesy of Jeff), so I can escape when the need arises! hahaha

  14. Paulette Shepard says:

    Our ladies group at church recently finished a study called, “Breathe,” by Priscilla Shearer. She talks about intentionally setting aside a time of Sabbath. When He introduced this idea to the recently freed Israelite slaves, they had no idea of the concept because their “time” had never been theirs. Have we forgotten to spend time reconnecting with God?

    Your life will be different after reading this book!

    Thanks, Heather, for “hitting the nail on the head” once again!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Paulette – a.k.a my “Mother-in-love” – Our Ladies Bible Study did that last year, and I missed it because I was in BSF at the time. I NEED to do that study. *ahem* Christmas *ahem*

  15. Carrie says:

    In counseling last year, she noted my need to fill space and fill time. I’ve been through several years of losing both parents and probating estates and selling houses and taking care of paperwork. Plus homeschooling and I was doing some childcare for a while too and I also work from home and I was serving on a board and had my kids in several activities.

    This year, I dropped several commitments and several kid activities. I have also dropped form 26 to 20 hours a week at work. I suddenly have almost every evening….free. Like with nothing in it. Nowhere I have to be, and nothing I have to prep for tomorrow, and just….nothing. I find it unsettling but I’m beginning to get used to it. I’m able to pick up a book now and enjoy reading. I actually have time during the day to do dishes or fold laundry while listening to an interesting podcast or fun music. We’re eating at home more, which leads to less money spent, fewer calories ingested, and less TV watched.

    However, it’s kind of like having an empty space in my home. I find that I have to defend it or it just naturally fills up with something else. I have to be mindful to protect that space.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Carrie – After reading that first paragraph, I was EXHAUSTED. I can only imagine how you felt. Good gracious.

      I’m thankful to hear you “dropped several commitments and several kid activities.” You needed to, I’m sure.

      I bet it will take some getting used to for you to have “down” time, but in time, I think it’ll be a healing balm to your soul. Definitely be “mindful to protect that space.”

      Thank you for sharing. I tend to keep myself over busy too. I need to think on a few of the things you said.

      1. StacyJ says:

        Glad to read this post because I struggle with all of the above and have been purposefully but not very successfully trying to overcome the temptations. I feel almost dysfunctional with all my crazy app checking. It drains ALL of me (physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally) yet I can’t seem to help myself. I de-clutter only to re-clutter in a short period of time. I make lists incessantly and lose them or stuff them in my junk drawer aka purse. I believe I have technologically induced ADD. I did not used to be like this. The Sabbath rest has been something I’ve wanted to work towards for a long time now but haven’t achieved it yet. I’m not giving up though. I feel a renewed sense of energy & determination from reading all your comments. Thank you all!

      2. Heather Sanders says:

        StacyJ – Oh my goodness…what you wrote (below) is the story of my life!

        ” I de-clutter only to re-clutter in a short period of time.”

  16. Soo says:

    and now they say that multitasking is even bad for you health! really… LOVE your notes – I feel like they are just to me..

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Soo – Yes, there is a growing amount of research that tells us to STOP multitasking. It makes sense to me that it’s detrimental.

      And thank you for the sweet encouragement. I pray over what I write. Sometimes I feel like God clearly hands something over to me and at other times, I’m afraid I may miss the mark. So, I appreciate you telling me that they feel personal to you.

  17. Alojzia says:

    I hear you Heather. Multi-tasking is counter productive and DANGEROUS . I should know. Some time ago I put a pot of food on the electric stove on high. I figured that while it gets to a boil I can go to the basement put in a load of wash , go upstairs do something else, go outside do something else . By the time I went back to the kitchen hours later , and not because I remembered the pot on the stove, all the water had boiled away and the pot was cooking away by itself on the burner. The pot had stuck to the burner. I could not get it off until it had cooled. It is only by the the Lord’s gracious intervention that the house didn’t burn down.

    Not long after that I did it again. Pot on stove, food burned and the pot stuck to the burner. Once again . the house did not burn down. I keep God very busy.

    I have learned a lot. Multitasking is counter productive. You run around all day without seeing the day or enjoying it. What is it all for I ask myself.

    Technology is so fast. Instead of helping us it has made us speed up so that we are running a daily marathon. What is it all for?

    I am trying to keep the Sabbath in a more spiritual way. At least cut back on real work. I try to set aside extra time for what really matters. Sundays are important as the Bible says. . The Bible is not a book of a bunch of rules and regulations we have to follow to keep us unhappy, under control, as some people see it. It was not written by a cosmic kiljoy to keep us from happiness. Everything in it is to keep us on the right track physically, mentally, spiritually. And once we do that, it is then we realize just how free we are.

    A favorite verse Psalm 119: 105″ Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Alojzia – Aaaack! Now THAT is a story! And you are right, technology should have given us more room in our lives, but it has done just the opposite. It can (if we let it) fill every square inch. Very good point, thank you.

      I love the old Amy Grant song that went along with that verse. 🙂 And yes, He certainly lights the way. We only need to be still and quiet enough to listen (and read His Word, of course).

  18. Holly says:

    I used to be a multitasker but I found the cure when I retired. Now I can multitask if and when I want to but I never feel compelled to do it. However, I still love decluttering, but we don’t have much clutter as there is only two of us. I thoroughly enjoyed your blog today.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Holly – First, thanks for the kind words! I enjoyed writing the post. And next, that’s the best cure for multitasking I’ve heard yet!! Hahahaha!

  19. kristy says:

    This year, I got rid of a lot of the clutter. I emptied out all of the closets and donated and sold everything that wasn’t nailed down. I gave back the cabinet full of silver to my MIL; and gave the fancy china back to my mom. I got rid of the books that we’ve outgrown and gave away all but the bare essential clothes in my closet.

    I didn’t buy new pencils, crayons, and glue, etc. this year; last year’s stash incredibly still works. We bought new paper and new printer ink; but only because we were completely out.

    You might be surprised at how hard it is to multitask while emptying out all of the clutter. I’ve learned to stay in the moment more. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to smile at others as I drop off a bag of clothes. The smiles on the faces of the kids at our coop when they could pick through our gently loved books was priceless.

    I too got rid of Facebook and Twitter this year. I don’t have nearly as many urges to compare myself to others; and I have a lot more time for my bible. I held onto those accounts for years because of my business, but when I sold it this past January I finally felt free. I believe that my friendships are much stronger now too.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      kristy – I agree that while emptying clutter it’s easy to stay singleminded. It takes focus to consider whether something is clutter or needs to stay. And I love the opportunities for smiles – strangers and children in your coop. That’s fabulous. We did something very similar when we cleared out all our belongings before the move. Having lived here a year, and seeing what we placed in storage that we will not need, I am ready to go through a second round of clutter clean-up.

      It sounds like you are creating an intentional, simple life. What a blessing. Thanks so much for sharing.

  20. Nicole says:

    This post gives me a lot to think about, so thanks. I am becoming, as I get older, a more intentional, slowly moving person, and it’s great, because I notice so much more. Having four home schooled children makes it necessary to be very organized and have systems in place, and sometimes I do have to multitask- I am cooking while I quiz someone, or whatever. But I noticed that a lot of disasters- overflowing sinks, burnt food or kettles, injuries- can be prevented by just being here, now, and not trying to do a lot of things at one time. I learnt this by experience.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Nicole – I have noticed I’ve slowed with age too. I’m not necessarily sure it is from wisdom (heh heh) or because I simply do not have the same brainpower as before. I certainly don’t have the stamina. When I can crawl into bed before 10:00, it’s magical.

      Thanks for chiming in with your experiences.

  21. Aunt G says:

    There’s a proverb that says ‘seeking the Lord first will add hours to your day’. That is paraphrased, but 20 years ago when I found it in a paraphrased Bible it resonated with me. Who doesn’t need more time? So I try to seek God first, especially on my busiest days and ask Him to number my steps and guide me through the circus I sometimes call life. What happens is I find his rest and peace and most importantly His perspective on what’s important and what isnt. My day goes smoother and I can get so much more done.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Aunt G – My bible study time is from 5:30-6:45 am. I log in to work at 7:00 am. On the occasions I have hit snooze and slept through my time with Him, I notice the difference. As you said, “I find his rest and peace and most importantly His perspective on what’s important and what isn’t.”

      I love that.
      Thank you.

      1. CIndyK says:

        Heather- I agree. I see the difference when I have not started the day His way. I read a quote from Martin Luther that said, “I have so much to do that I will spend the first three hours in prayer.” That is how it works in God’s economy. I need to bank that way more often.

      2. Kristin says:

        Wow!!! 5:30 – 6:45am – that is amazing! I am sooo not a morning person but I really need to get disciplined and become one. Thanks for this wonderful article and all of your thoughtful comments.
        P.S. Really?! People are that disciplined to get up at 5:30 and pray at least almost every single day? Wow. It helps me to hear that. My husband would love if I went to bed by 10 or 11 and got up at 6. And the Lord has been speaking to me about it…I have been resisting, not on purpose exactly, but wow, I am inspired!! Thanks!

      3. Heather Sanders says:

        Kristin – I have a routine. It’s the same every morning. I think that helps. Plus, I’m a routine-oriented person. Get up, wash my face, brush my teeth, braid back my hair, start the coffee, feed the cat, grab a cup of coffee w/ a bit of cream, and then I settle into the couch with my Bible and prayer journal.

        Usually, I start about 5:45 am, which gives me a solid hour. Often I will return in the evening if there was a particular passage I wanted to dig deeper with or follow the reference passages path.

        I have grown to NEED this time. Well, I’ve always needed it, but now I KNOW how desperately I need it. Reading His Word and writing my prayers to Him IS the only way that feels right to start my morning. Otherwise, the morning is just about me, and honestly, I get enough of me throughout the day. 😉

      4. Kristin says:

        Heather, I am not a routine oriented person. But again I know it comes down to self-discipline. When I had a job, it was even hard for me to get up and get ready to go and out the door. But once I did, I was loving life and was very organized and productive at work. So I need that same self-discipline I had for a job, NOW, in this season – as a homeschool mom with at least as important of a job!!
        I love that you braid your hair. I finally grew out my gray hair (looks a lot like yours) and now I’m trying to get it long enough to braid, almost there!
        Thanks for responding and sharing all of this with those of us who need a mentor in this area. I know its not exactly accountability but it is inspiring and helpful. (I sort of miss having a Mom to make sure I got up on time every morning!) Its so easy to just always tell myself that I’m too tired to get up early, and then give God my tired self at the end of the day. I am endeavoring to go to bed early tonight and get up early tomorrow and pray for the discipline to do it each morning. Ha, and I hear ya about getting enough of yourself during the day, that is so me! And I need the Lord to give out to my kids instead of myself. THANK YOU.

    2. Heather Sanders says:

      Kristin – I think it is a wonderful idea to “…pray for the discipline to do it each morning”, but if you discover that another time of day works best for you, do it then instead. I don’t think there is a right or wrong time; well, except for when we’re falling asleep. Although, I do love falling asleep while praying at night. What better way to slip into rest? 🙂

      1. Kristin says:

        Heather, I appreciated you encouraging me to go with whatever time of day works for me. I feel like the morning is really best but its sooo hard for me to actually do! So I started doing the evenings… you know, its pretty awesome. A. I actually do it. B. God has made it so clear he takes me as I am. C. We’ve had probably more awesome times together in the evening than I usually get in the morning because I’m hurrying before anyone wakes up etc. At night everyone is zonked and I’ve been singing praise songs, singing prayers (and I’m not a singer) and just generally sensing God’s presence through his word and prayer. I’m really encouraged!
        So, THANK YOU!

      2. Heather Sanders says:

        Kristin – WONDERFUL! It sounds like you’ve found a solution. Going to bed after being renewed by His Word sounds lovely!

  22. Jenn B says:

    This really resonates with me. Even with effort and occasional success it is something I struggle with. Being good at multi-tasking is wonderful in that we can get a lot done. However, is God’s purpose here on earth to get stuff done? I know it’s not. Rather, it is to glorify Him in what we do, when we do it. Psalm 46:10 means something to me even while “doing” something. We can still be in the middle of a task and “Be still and know that I (He) am (is) God” – right? That to me, in this context, speaks of mind clutter as well as physical clutter. Being still, focusing on the task at hand or what God is showing us is so much more powerful than doing fifteen things at once and not seeing the Lord in any of it or not remembering what we even did. Ever been asked what you did last weekend and you try to respond but instead give blank stare because you can’t remember? Um, yea – I have many times!

    I find that when I purpose to “be still” mentally and often times physically that peace comes and stress leaves. It is such a blessing. Each and every time we obey and put effort into being present and being still there is fruit to blossom and rewards to hold. Our God is good and He knows what He is talking about.

    As natural multi-taskers it is not easy at all to make this change but with God all things are possible. He is the One who changes us and refines us. Thank you for your post. You are not alone in where your at. Reading this is inspiring and helps me not to feel alone as well. Blessings Heather!

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Jenn B – Thank you for your words of TRUTH. It is our job to glorify Him all that we do as we’re doing it. Like you, I see this as an important part of faithsizing my life because it is mind clutter. I want my mind clear to hear His whispers, so He doesn’t have to WHACK me across the head to get his point across.

      Being “still” in the midst of a task (e.g. folding laundry) also helps me to be thankful. I’m thankful for the modern conveniences of a washer and dryer. I’m thankful for the clothes to wash. And as I start counting blessings, I see more and more areas to praise His provision in our lives.

      1. Joyce T says:

        Aack! Mind clutter! Ooh, that conjures such vivid pictures. Definitely need to declutter and recycle some of that stuff.

        Truthfully, I find myself deliberately indulging in mind clutter when I’m trying to avoid a task I don’t want to do. It can be a useful form of procrastination. Bleh- time to sweep the cobwebs out.

  23. Kelli says:

    I can multitask like nobody’s business. So sometimes I do.
    And sometimes I don’t. Your words are good reminders to me to make sure I have time when I focus on one thing and one thing only. I do try to be better about this to give myself a break!!

    And honestly, sometimes I multitask because I’m just so worn out I know if I stop – I’m going to stop for the entire day. 🙂 #logic

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Kelli“And honestly, sometimes I multitask because I’m just so worn out I know if I stop – I’m going to stop for the entire day.” I know this feeling all too well. At this point though, I can’t EVEN multitask because my brain is barely functioning on one thing. HA!

  24. Robin says:

    I get this. [pause….find myself wiping away a tear…] I multitask a lot and I have very good reasons for doing it. To be honest, I’m not going to stop. However, I find that there are moments when I need to clear the brain clutter as much as the physical clutter. Those moments of clarity help calm and shape the noise of my life into something that brings a lot of satisfaction. I walk every day. It takes the first mile to work through some of the whirling swirling thoughts and by the end of the last mile, my emotions are better in line with my body and I can continue on with whatever is on the list. It’s not a perfect system, but I am not a perfect person and I don’t life in a perfect life. It is a process that works for me though.

    1. Heather Sanders says:

      Robin – I’m thankful that you brought up walking. I’ve noticed this same pattern when I walk. I’m surprised it takes me so long to settle into a calm, so I’m thankful you shared that as your own experience. I have cried my way halfway around the lake and found my way home with my emotions cleared and my mind more able to process the truth of any given situation. No system is perfect, but it sounds like it works. Finding a workable solution in a less-than-perfect circumstance is, in my opinion, a mark of your wisdom.

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