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Multitasking | To hack or not to hack?

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m a big fan of podcasts—I listen to a fair number of self-improvement, health, and entrepreneur/business related ones, and my all-time favorite for “general consumption” is definitely Jonathan Fields’s Good Life Project. If you haven’t listened yet, check it out for a weekly dose of inspiration.

After commenting on words from our own field that make us cringe in Finding your tribe two weeks ago, I was amused this past week to hear two podcasters talk about the word “hack” (as in a shortcut) being so ubiquitous these days. One, Natalie Eckdahl of Bizchix, is all over anything that smacks of a hack; the other, Marie Forleo, is sick and tired of the whole concept.

As someone who works to bring some sanity back into the lives of over-it-all working wives and mothers, I help clients discover and address the root causes of their overwhelm rather than give them hacks for putting out all the fires in their lives: it’s an exercise in creating a proactive life rather than living in reactivity.

So in a sense, I’m anti-hack; on the other hand, I do encourage a form of multitasking.

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“Multitasking” is another one of those words that seems to be everywhere, and there is a growing concern that when we multitask all the time, we don’t really give any task the full attention it deserves and we increase the stress in our lives.

Some of us tend to be better equipped to multitask, and there’s a general consensus that women’s brains do it more naturally than men’s: it’s why you see moms easily handle 3–4 tasks at once and why we can halt any conversation midstream, deal with some eruption on the childcare front, then pick the conversation back up exactly where we left it.

pixabay cookingNo, guys, this isn’t a brag—you really aren’t missing out on this ability! Just because we can do this doesn’t mean we should. 

There are moments when we need to devote 100% of our attention to one task—driving,meditating, completing a big project at work, really being present for someone who needs to be heard….

None of these are improved by the “monkey mind” that zooms from one item on our to-do list to another.

The multitasking I do encourage is the kind that helps us take care of nourishing ourselves on the primary food level I wrote about in Fill your plate | Feed your life, not the type that tries to manage a staggering number of little tasks that make our schedules so overwhelming.

What does this look like?

  • Need to spend quality time with family members? Instead of adding an outing (with all the planning and preparation and consensus building that requires), combine it with another primary food area that needs some attention: take suggestions on the week’s meals, shop together, do some meal prep.
  • Missing time with your girlfriends? Combine it with a workout.
  • Desperate to do a little meal prep for the week? Invite a few friends over to batch cook so that you all get to stock up for the week. (There might be wine involved?)
  • House feeling like a hardhat zone, but you’d rather read? Clean while you listen to an audiobook.
  • Time constraints making you choose between a workout and your spiritual practice? Take a walk in nature or practice a walking meditation.

pixabay hikeIn short, if you are finding creative ways to simultaneously nourish yourself in more than one primary foods area, that’s proactive; if you find yourself longing for (or even Googling) hacks to manage your daily life, perhaps you should consider putting your schedule on a diet?

Interested in digging more deeply into this? I invite you to hop on a FREE call with me to discuss your own “life movie” and how you can start starring in it!

Drop a comment below and let me know: What’s your favorite way to multitask on the primary foods level?