Learning to not multitask
When did the things we have to get done become so important? Why is everything needed by the end of the day or tomorrow morning at the latest? When did we stop having the luxury of time? I know life has got busier, and mostly that is okay, but since the pandemic, it seems our digital lives have gotten quicker than ever before.
Recently I’ve been caught up in a toxic world of multitasking. Multitasking when I should have been maybe just tasking or even doing no task at all. It seems that as my career has progressed more people want a slice of me. With emails, calls, PDFs needing to be sent, and more tasks than you can shake a stick at.
I am writing this after an incredibly busy pride, but even before that, I have noticed that this uptick in mental demand has been a constant part of my life. Train journeys used to be filled with films or a book, maybe a glossy fashion mag! But now, trains are for emails, calls and trying to land the next job. Evenings were once my outlet to relax, and catch my breath, recently they have been filled with work I couldn’t get to during the day.
Something had to give, and so I have instigated a slower approach to my work balance. Taking my time, and listening to my mother. Outside of the deadlines imposed by others, I am placing far fewer deadlines on myself. It has to be one of the stupidest things ever to make my own life harder than it needs to be!
As a freelancer, I can be flexible about my working life, so I can meet my needs however they manifest or arise. This has meant prioritising a slower pace in my work day, carving time into my schedule to not work as much. Taking my Saturday mornings to catch up on things when I know I won’t have to take calls or respond to emails, and instead having Tuesday afternoons off.
This is very much a me-focused routine. If you have been here for a while, you will know that I am a huge advocate for being a little more selfish. This is a great example - of unlearning to multitask. Taking a task at a time provides me with a calmness to catch any errors, and cover all bases. Whereas before I was fraught with anxiety over missed elements, and slip-ups, meaning I never stopped worrying. Slowing down hasn't erased that, but it has eased it somewhat.
Learning not to multitask (when I remember to do it) has been a great help over this busy summer period. Maybe you have been feeling that same overstretched feeling, and perhaps you can take something from this post to help you put the focus back on yourself in your world of work! Whatever that looks like - we all owe ourselves less pressure, and less constant multitasking!
Shot by Ruth Pechey