Today is the start of a new year for me as I celebrated my birthday* yesterday. I try to workout most mornings before I start my workday and while I am out at the local park, I adore my time getting sun, fresh air, pumping up my heart rate but especially listening to podcasts.
One of my favorite podcasts is Note To Self from WNYC. I think the sign of a good podcast is one that feels like ‘it’ is talking just to you. Note to Self it that type of podcast for me and it is moderated by the very smart and down-to-earth Manoush Zomorodi. It’s a show about technology and how we can best live with it in our modern lives.
The current episode is focused on single-tasking and it’s a good reminder for me to make more changes and focus more. Shifting attention or multitasking is hard work for the brain and this depletes neuroresources (and I’ve been doing it for years). This depletion makes it hard for us to think straight and switching attention creates stress.
Since returning to the US last year, I have been making a real effort to reduce time on social media, shut down programs, shut off many notifications and really just allow myself to focus better. Yes, this is hard with super busy lives, travel, highly demanding projects, extended families, etc. but it is a work in progress for me. That does not mean I have no apps running or an old phone. It means that I want to read books and not only articles on Facebook and be present with people. And it means I want to focus and accomplish more; from start to finish.
So as part of my new year, I’m going to focus on single-tasking where I do one thing until it is done. Much like writing this blog with little to no stopping and/or checking email, Twitter, my cell, or otherwise. I don’t need to wait until January 1st to make resolutions as in many ways, our birthdays are a great new day for executing change, developing new habits, leaving old stuff behind and starting anew.
Join me in single-tasking more!
*Thanks for the many birthday well-wishes on Facebook, Twitter, Whatapp, text, email and yes, my father, in his 80’s, even sang Happy Birthday on my voicemail!