Multitasker or Master Martyr?

Women are masters of multitasking. It’s become a mark of heroism to be able to juggle impossible loads. For men the ability to work longer hours with fewer breaks is a badge of capability and dedication. But what’s really happening?

We are becoming more stressed and having more health problems as a consequence. We often feel unfulfilled and somehow disconnected from ourselves. Our ability to work productively suffers.

A  yoga teacher friend of mine says women need to take a 20-minute break every 2 hours to stay effective and balanced. I imagine something similar applies to men. When we multi task we’re not actually doing multiple things at once, we’re actually switching our focus constantly, sometimes with lightening speed. Over time we’ll find ourselves getting scattered.

Another friend suggests that as we go through our day performing these multiple tasks little bits of our attention gets attached to various things. We have a list growing in our minds of all of the things that we need do; each item on this list is taking some of our attention, some of our energy. Eventually we get to a point of overwhelm.

This is where the art of mindfulness bears fruit.


Mindfulness as a Productivity Tool

By giving ourselves mindfulness breaks through the day we can cultivate wholeness and balance in our life.

  • Take breaks not to shovel fuel into your body or escape the work place, rather take a break to come back to your self.
  • Collect all of the pieces of you that are focused elsewhere.
  • Be still.
  • For the period of your break practice being mindful of just what is occupying you in this moment.
  • Be present.
  • If you are drinking a cup of tea, just drink the tea.
  • If you are walking, just walk.
  • If you are eating just eat.
  • Allow your mind to observe every aspect of what you are doing.

This is mindfulness. Being aware of this moment, not the past moment, not the future moment only this moment. The art of mindfulness allows your scattered energy to refocus you become present to the present, the only place that anything actually happens.  The practice of skipping breaks to accomplish just a little bit more in the end leads to being less effective and more stressed.

Creating your Personal Mindfulness Practice

I invite you to practice creating a moment of awareness, set up a cue for yourself. Perhaps its every time you have a glass of water or a cup of tea you stop, just for a few minutes and come back to yourself.

Essential oils will support this practice.  A single drop of frankincense applied to the roof of the mouth will bring you back to yourself almost instantly. A drop of the grounding blend (Balance) on the back of the neck or the focus blend (In Tune) will slow busy mind.

One of my favorites when I find myself ineffectually multi-tasking during my day is the ‘Motivate’ blend. It reminds me that everything else that is clamoring for my attention can wait.

Any essential oil that you love the scent of can be used as a focus for mindfulness meditation just by putting a drop on your wrist and inhaling. Observe how your body feels as you inhale.

For more information on mindfulness practice contact Angie Bull at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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