Power of undivided attention
You are starring at your todo list, it is 3PM and you feel like you have not accomplished anything today. From the morning it felt like you are super busy but suddenly when you have time to work, you notice you have taken the tasks of least resistance. Read an email, replied to some, talk to colleague about some important task that needs to be done and collected data for your work. An hour ago you felt super productive, now you are starting to feel little anxious. The big tasks, the important tasks are still there. You have worked on the illusionary important tasks, the shallow tasks. Yet the important tasks, those that require your deep work and undivided attention are still there. Why? If you are like me, living in the current times, we are hugely distracted. There is so many tasks our brain need to handle, something this brain has not been manufactured to do. Those minuscule tasks are little dopamine rewards. Those big tasks are like big nuts that need to be cracked first and that cracking takes a bit of time when no dopamine is present. All leading to this formula …
Distractions + False sense of busyness + Running of time -> Anxiety and stress
If you ever felt overwhelmed, when nothing is moving on and you want to do too many at the same time under some time constraint, that is stress creeping in. We all know stress is not helpful, yet we all experience it. We all expect too much from ourself and that feeling of not meeting objectives creates a feeling of anxiety. Yet, if we pause … and start to breathe for a moment, we will notice that this pressure is something what is actually not helping at all. It is a self-imposing act of our consciousness that is created by the acceptance/not acceptance of the tribe and eventually ourself. It is in times like this, we need to remind ourself, that we have all the time in the world for the very next task. What do I mean by that. There is no multi-tasking. There is only one undivided attention you have one moment at a time. And if we have expected/promised too much, it is a lesson for us not to do so next time. It is our lesson, that we need to create buffers because what is the purpose of work, when you feel constantly stressed. That is not life, that is misery and suffering and I don’t know how about you, but I haven’t signed up for this. I am willing to work hard, but in a way, when I am actually enjoying my work most of the time, not the other way around.
So next time, you will feel super-anxious from all things you want/need to accomplish, do the opposite. Stop, slow down, remind yourself that you have all the time in the world for that very next task, enjoy it and most importantly, pay an undivided attention to that one thing and one thing only. It will make you calmer and you will enjoy it much more, I promise.