Multitasking does not work for everyone

In this high tech age we are used to multitasking especially since smart phones came into our lives. I have had a smart phone since 2012 and I wonder how I coped without it and my Tablet before and yet it has also meant I am a little more prone to multitasking especially when watching tv. Instead of fully engaging with the screen a little voice says ooh check your social media or I wonder if Amazon has such and such in stock. Although in saying that I do have lots of down time from my devices but just this small example shows that even watching tv has become less of a mindful experience and more in a series of things that we can do at the same time such as conversing with people, shopping, checking Instagram etc. But this type of multitasking is not what I want to write about, I wish to discuss multitasking in our work lives.

In a previous blog I had written about living in or out of alignment with your true values and how having given up my role in Local Government I was finally living in alignment with my values and had started back on my paths of coaching and genealogy. I was then approached to do my role once more for a few weeks which turned into five months but is about to finish up at the end of October. I took on the role for 25 hours a week so that I still had time in my life to pursue my other activities and as I had already decided that I would have a portfolio career of different streams, it seemed it would all work out. What I didn’t take into consideration was that also during this period I would relocate and have to organise a move into an apartment that I did not physically see until I arrived with all my belongings, due to being in the world’s longest city in lockdown, Melbourne. So between the stressors of meeting Local Government legislative deadlines and packing up and organising a move, it left little brain space for my own businesses. I kept up one session a week coaching with my own life coach to ensure I was somewhat engaged in that role and when I could I did small amounts of genealogical research for people but predominantly I struggled to engage to multitask in three different streams of work.

Within my Local Government role I was at times multitasking between important documents and in business that seems to be the norm but equally from a mindfulness perspective, juggling numerous tasks at once can mean none are getting the proper attention they deserve and mistakes can occur if swapping and changing too often. There is an inordinate amount of pressure put on people to achieve many results within a timeframe and this means work/life balance becomes work/work instead of what it should be, life/work balance. I truly enjoyed working remotely with my former colleagues and the work I produced was interesting and I’m proud of my achievements but it is time once more to re find my zen and my true paths.

My life coach stated last week that if we steer from our path we are not starting again from scratch we are coming from a point in the middle. She must have read my mind as I was feeling I had steered so far from my path that I was back at zero but then I reminded myself that I am never at zero as I have 18 years of experience in genealogy, I trained as a life coach 13 years ago and have been using various other therapies for just as long. I might have veered off my path for a while but soon I will start to steer myself back on track. Working within my two different fields might take some doing and it may be at times that I am more invested in one field than the other but having different options means I can keep refreshed in my work. It is like writing blogs. Some days I have an idea for a coaching blog like today and other days the call for genealogy or history is strong. Working for yourself gives you flexibility to essentially being able to embrace what you feel like doing on any given day.   

Doing the work to find what I truly valued meant I discovered multitasking wasn’t something I wished to keep as a constant in my life. Although I wish to have different businesses, I would not work on them both on the same day. To separate them is to work mindfully. This means I can nurture them both by giving each the time and love they deserve.  

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