Last week, I caught my daughter reading her book while also doing her homework. I bet you can guess which thing wasn’t happening.
If you guessed the homework, you’d be right!
I asked her to put away her book and focus on her homework, and she replied, “But Mom, I’m multi-tasking!”
Dear friends, I do not know where she learned that word, but that was the day I had to tell my eight-year-old that multi-tasking was a big fat lie. ?
The very concept of multi-tasking means you’re doing multiple tasks at once, right? But Emily was not doing that. She was reading instead of doing her homework. Her focus was given to just one place – her book. (And I don’t blame her. I’d rather read a good book than do homework any day!)
And the same is true for all the rest of us – we can effectively give our focus to one thing at a time.
There are times in which multi-tasking can happen, I think, but not when both activities require your focus. You can listen to a podcast while folding laundry, because folding laundry is pretty brainless work. You can color while someone else is reading you a book, because you can focus on listening while your hands work without a whole lot of thought.
But when you’re trying to focus on more than one thing at a time, your brain just can’t do it. Something always suffers.
I want you to think about how many things you try to multi-task a day.
Do you scroll through your phone while listening to someone talk to you? Can’t do both, my friend. Your brain cannot process reading language and hearing language at the same time.
Do you try to cook dinner and fold laundry at once? My guess is that dinner has gotten burned once or twice, or the laundry has been left undone for a while.
Have you ever tried to write a professional email to someone while also answering your son’s question about where exactly heaven is located? Can’t do it. You’re either going to give your child some seriously flawed information or accidentally type something to your co-worker about the mysteries of God. I may or may not be speaking from experience here.
The fact of the matter is, our culture tells us that we have to do more, and do it faster. But we were not built to live that way. We work best when we focus on just one thing at a time, so we can give it our full attention, and our best effort.
Less quantity, but better quality.
Less, but better.
When we live within the “less but better” idea, we might have to pare down the things we give ourselves to, but we will have more of ourselves to give.
We can really focus on our child when he’s talking to us, because work is put away for work time. Family has our focus during family time.
We can listen to our friend as she confides in us, and worry about our text messages later, giving the person in front of our face our full attention.
We can even care for our homes more thoroughly, setting aside maybe one day a week, or one hour a day to give our houses our focus (and hopefully pulling our families along for the cleaning ride!).
It is difficult to stop multi-tasking, this we know. There are so many things we want to do! And so many things we feel like we should do.
But when we give our focus to just one thing at a time, we enjoy it so much more. And the truth is that a singular focus helps us make even more progress as we work. All your effort, focused in one direction? That’s significant.
So this week, I’d love to know what your focus is going to be. What is something you’ll commit to doing “less, but better”?
I’ll share mine – honestly, my house is NOT getting my focus this week. All of the time my kids are at school is going to work duties, because planner launch starts NEXT WEEK, and it’s got my full focus! But when the kids are home, they get my full attention, because they are more important than work. (And I really should be able to get all my work done within my work hours, if I focus well!)
How about you? Comment below and share what your focus is this week! I can’t wait to hear!
P.S. Our 2020 S.O.S. Planner launch next week, so we’ve got some fun events coming up in the next two weeks!
Starting THIS WEDNESDAY, we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about our 2020 planners LIVE on Facebook! We’ll also be doing some fun giveaways and freebies for you, so be sure to join us!
Then, as the planners launch next week, we’ve got 4 more Facebook Lives planned that will give you a TON of practical tips for planning with purpose, building rest into your life, and simplifying your daily schedule. I can’t wait to share these with you, and chat every day!
Don’t miss out! Click on each link below to RSVP to our Facebook Lives:
- Meet our 2020 Planners! // September 25 // IT’S PLANNER TIME!! We’re spilling the beans about our new 2020 S.O.S. Planners and sharing everything you need to know! What’s included this year, how to put your planners together, and even how to combine planner styles to create YOUR perfect planner! Don’t miss this live!
- It’s a PLANNER PARTY! // Tuesday, October 1 // Join us to celebrate the launch of our 2020 S.O.S. Planners!! We’ll have some surprises and giveaways for you – RSVP to make sure you’re there live!
- Plan Your Most Purposeful Year! // Wednesday, October 2 // Learn how to create a simple, purposeful plan for 2020. It’s not as hard as you think – and we’re here to help!
- How to Build Rest Into Your Busy Life // Thursday, October 3 // You don’t have to live exhausted and overwhelmed and weary. We’ll show you how to build rest into your daily life, even if you think you’re too busy to rest. (Hint: You’re not!)
- 3 Planning Tips to Simplify Every Single Day // Friday, October 4 // Do your days feel overwhelming, and like you can’t every get enough done? Not anymore! Learn 3 simple ways to plan that will make your daily routine so. much. easier!
I hope to see you in each of these lives! I can’t wait to chat with you about these fun topics!
Kayse is a wife, mom, and founder of the Anchored Women community. She writes to help women fight busy, find rest, and build a life that’s anchored in Christ. Kayse is also the creator of the S.O.S. Planner, the Anchored Life Kit, and other practical resources that equip women to manage their homes and families in confidence. You can find her writing and her resources at anchored-women.com!