Have you ever had those weeks where everything seems to happen at once? Work deadlines and family obligations and social outings and other projects. You lay awake at night wondering how you’re going to do it all. The puzzle pieces of your color-coded calendar drop through your mind like Tetris blocks. Reality check:
You can only do one thing at a time. And right now, you’re here reading this.
Technology makes us believe otherwise, but the myth of multi-tasking is really just a myth.
I’ll be first to admit that I’m guilty of:
- compulsively checking email on my phone
- thinking about my to-do list while sitting at dinner with a loved one
- texting while walking
- etc. etc.
Am I bold to say that we’re all guilty of some version of this technological multi-tasking?
So what happens when we really need to focus? Like in the case of performing, writing, speaking in front of people, or speaking to one special person. Is it possible to snap into the present moment?
Since I happen to be performing tonight, my awareness of all this is heightened and I’m making my best effort to stay present in every moment. I ate dinner alone last night and really sat there eating instead of thumbing away at my touch screen phone the whole time. I’m consciously slowing down as much as possible, which is a huge contrast from the beginning of the week in which everything felt like a whirlwind.
I think back to the days when I lived in the same building as one of my dearest friends who would observe Shabbat every Friday night into Saturday, with no technological contact whatsoever. I’d join her some weeks and would experience a whole new New York, a whole new me, in those 24 hours.
So this Friday I invite you to join me in surrendering your iPhone for at least one day. Just close it down. Make an announcement on Facebook if you feel the need to let people know you’ll be out of touch. Take back your power by taking back your time.
My theory is that being more mindful and present in every moment will help us perform better – artistically, creatively, and otherwise.
Let me know what you discover in the comments below and we’ll see how the theory upholds!
Our perception of time can actually change.
And since this week marks the official entry into Summer, let’s make it our pleasure to make it last much longer by being present.
Your to-do list will get done, but it can only happen one thing at a time.
With a deep breath and a long ohmmmmm,
p.s. I post this on Thursday so that it hits you in real time as I write it. Something told me I would be more present with myself if I sent it out today, rather than scheduling it to go out tomorrow. It also might give you a moment to prepare yourself to disengage from technology tomorrow – or at least for one segment of this weekend. Take the challenge on if you dare and let me know what happens here! (please note, my responses might be delayed this week ;)