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Mindful Leadership

Mindful Leadership in Action – Tip of the Week – Breaking the Multitasking Habit

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The more we multitask the more we are drawn to multitask.  Why is that?  Quite simply, we are training ourselves.  Just as we can train the mind for greater calm and concentration, we can train the opposite, for less calm and concentration.  Before we know it we can’t concentrate at all and we are all stressed out and potentially out of control.  This is less unusual than you might think.

There are a couple of strategies that are very effective if you wish to break the habit. When you notice that you are buzzing around, stop, just for a few seconds, long enough to take a conscious breath.  Now look within the body.  Are you experiencing sensations associated with emotion?  If you are, maintain awareness there and “soak” into that sensation.  You will notice that with practice it melts away.  As this happens you will be able to go about your business in a “conscious” rather than a “driven” way.

Another strategy is to focus only on one thing at a time.  Give your undivided attention to the task you are performing or the conversation you are having.  Then when you are done move onto the next activity, project or conversation.  This may be tough at first.  But with practice you will notice that you save a great deal of time because you only do things once, thereby becoming very effective and efficient.  In dealing with others it also has the added benefit of generating goodwill and enhancing relationships because the other person you are with knows that you are truly interested in them and the interaction.  Think of what you experience when someone gives you their undivided attention.

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