I skim through the emails. I check my phone rapidly to see if I got any new messages or missed any calls.
I remember I have to go to a meeting.
What were those reports I had to prepare?
I wonder what’s your patience lag when opening a new web page or a new computer program. 5 seconds? 10 seconds until you get too frustrated at waiting for it to load completely? And switching tabs compulsively.
Mine is about 2 seconds.
Worrying, ain’t it?
The Alt-Tab compulsion rules our lives.
It’s also called multitasking.
And yes, it’s bad for you. Not only it creates frustration, anxiety, stomach and digestion problems, headaches and skin problems, but it’s also a cause for rash behaviour and …well, not treating yourself and the others nicely.
Ultimately, it’s an act of disrespect to you and the others around you.
Ironic, isn’t it? We used to say that we should respect each other’s time. But how can you respect someone when they approach you and you’re checking email on your Blackberry at the same time?
It’s like assuming that one thing to do at a time is an insult to our smartness and ability to skyrocket productivity. But – alas! – it cuts both ways, leaving you drained and confused.
So, yes, we’re going back to doing one thing at a time, and doing it well.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Breathe in, breathe out.
2. Dedicate yourself to one thing you like. One of my best lunches alone was a few days ago, sitting in the kitchen facing the window and the trees outside. I looked at the birds and chewed slowly. Needless to say, I’m normally a fast eater who reads or watches TV, when not in social company while eating. Are you the same?
3. Love boredom. Lack of activity is a good thing. It allows the mind to rest. And I’m not talking about video games. Total lack of activity. Lie around. Let your mind roam. Go out. Get a coffee and look around. Leave your cell on the desk.
I know that’s what I’m going to do now.
Patience is a virtue. Slowness is a gift.