Nowadays, to be flexible is a state of delivery, service and excellence. Flexibility – like multitasking – is about focus, effort and alertness.
When we combine both flexibility and multitasking, we get stress. There is an approach – a practical way – to replace stress to the state of flow. From fast, wired, disruptive environment to the realm of connectness.
Multitasking drains the brain
We multitask for a few reasons. First, to save time and money. Secondly, to bring value by being productive and managing more in less effort. Third, we are in a flow when all things are in sort.
Multitasking is a brain drain that exhausts the mind, zaps cognitive resources and, if left unchecked, condemns us to early mental decline and decreased sharpness. Chronic multitaskers also have increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can damage the memory region of the brain.
Frequently switching between tasks overloads the brain and makes you less efficient. It’s a formula for failure in which your thoughts remain on the surface level and errors occur more frequently.
The control center of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, can handle just one new thing at a time, explains Jordan Grafman, Ph.D., chief of the cognitive neuroscience section of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. You can combine tasks that use different sensory channels in your brain. It is tough to send an e-mail and carry on a phone conversation (not that many of us do not try). But it’s pretty easy to fold clothes while listening to the weather report on the radio.
So how do you get more done without multitasking – or at least without multitasking to excess? Preparation is one answer. Discipline is also part of the mix. When you are working, train yourself to deflect distractions. As Dutch researchers recently reported in the journal Science, the unconscious mind is often a better problem solver than the focused one.
Journaling leads to happiness, Tim Ferriss example
An attention time at the morning and evening sessions made Tim Ferriss 100% happier to reconnect with self. This can be your momentum too applying it right now to shift your multitasking into connectedness:
Morning session in your journal jotting down:
– Three things you are grateful for.
– Three things that would make today great.
– An affirmation to prime you for the day ahead.
– Remember three amazing things that happened.
– Reflect on how you could have made your day better.
Ferriss says he finds the quick journaling exercise, regardless of format, to be liberating and calming.
S.A.V.E.R.S strategy to connect with self
Taking it a step further, Hal Elrod in his best-selling book “Miracle Morning” shares the S.A.V.E.R.S strategy to with each morning we can make the day more better. SAVERS is an acronym and each letter stands for the following:
Silence – Minute One
Imagine waking up in the morning, and spending the first minute sitting in purposeful silence. As you sit in silence, you’re totally present in the now, in the moment. You develop a deeper sense of peace, purpose, and direction.
Affirmations – Minute Two
Read affirmations—the ones that remind you of your unlimited potential and your most important priorities—out loud from top to bottom. The reminders of how capable you really are gives you a feeling of confidence.
Visualization – Minute Three
You close your eyes, or you look at your vision board, and you visualize. Your visualization could include your goals and what it will look and feel like when you reach them.
Scribing – Minute Four
Take a few minutes to write down what you’re grateful for, what you’re proud of, and the results you’re committed to creating for that day. Doing so, you put yourself in an empowered, inspired, and confident state of mind.
Reading – Minute Five
Grab your self-help book and invest one miraculous minute reading a page or two. You learn a new idea, something that you can implement into your day. Discover something new that you can use to feel better.
Exercise – Minute Six
Finally, stand up and spend the last minute doing jumping jacks for 60 seconds and getting your heart rate up. Get energized, wake up and increase your alertness and focus. Or in my case, I do five Tibetan healing exercises that bring energy to my entire body.
How simple easy is that! Tim Ferriss is using these methods, and now it’s your turn.
One thing at a time
The rule of one says connect and put attention to one single matter. Science already has proven that switching between tasks can cost you as much as 40% of your productivity, according to expert David Meyer. Doing one thing at a time is probably the most basic habit of concentration, and one of the most powerful. Focusing on one thing raises productivity, as multitasking trains to be less attentive.
Featured photo credit: Qimono via pixabay.com