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Give Yourself the Break You DeserveAnd Your Brain Needs; without Multitasking! 🧠✨

By Karla Schlaepfer

Feeling overwhelmed has too common in our fast-paced digital world. Our brains are constantly bombarded with information from screens—PCs, TVs, and smartphones. This constant influx can leave us feeling exhausted and scattered. We rarely allow ourselves the luxury of focusing on one thing at a time, even though science has repeatedly shown us that multitasking does not t save us time or help us work effectively.

Multitasking Efficiency is an Illusion

What is it that makes multitasking such a productivity killer? It might seem like you are accomplishing multiple things at the same time, but what you are really doing is quickly shifting your attention and focus from one thing to the next. Switching from one task to another take brain energy, may make it difficult to tune out distractions and can cause mental blocks that can slow you down.

(For more detailed insights, you can explore article a great article from Stanford’s Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute that delves into the cognitive costs and inefficiencies associated with multitasking.)

Take a Moment Before You Go Back to the Screen

Don’t let yourself be seduced by multi-tasking. Instead take a break! Before diving back into the digital noise and tasks, this can make a significant positive difference. Step away from the screen, breathe deeply, and let your mind relax. This simple act – even for a few minutes - can help reset your brain, making you more productive and feel less stressed.

The Importance of Breaks

Too often we feel guilty about taking breaks, thinking we don’t have the time and they are reducing our efficiency. However, breaks are really and truly essential for maintaining our productivity. When we push ourselves without rest, we end up feeling drained, we make mistakes, produce poor quality work and are in effect, less effective. Incorporate instead regular breaks into your routine and notice the difference. These moments of rest will recharge your mind and improve your overall well-being. Here is a post I wrote on this subject with focus on lawyer’s well-being.

Managing Time with Self-Awareness

Time management isn’t only about scheduling tasks – it’s about being self-aware, understanding the essence of time and prioritizing what truly matters. Start by identifying this “what truly matters”, your most important tasks and focus on completing them one at a time. Use tools like to-do lists, or not-to-do lists, or digital planners to organize your day but remember to stay flexible. Life happens, and sometimes plans change. Being adaptable can help you cope with and manage stress better.

Prioritizing Tasks

Not all tasks are created equal. To manage your time effectively, learn to prioritize. Ask yourself, what tasks will have the most significant impact on your goals? What can be postponed or delegated? By prioritizing high-impact tasks, you can ensure that your energy is spent on activities that move you forward. The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, can be particularly useful here. This strategy suggests that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. By identifying and focusing on these high-impact tasks, you can maximize your productivity and achieve your goals more efficiently.

Finding Your Anchor

In moments of overwhelm, finding an anchor can help you regain focus and clarity. This anchor can be anything that brings you a short mental disruption, a change of air or perspective, a change, or sense of peace. It could be a walk around the block, a few minutes of meditation or dance, or listening to your favorite music.

The key is to find something that helps you reset and help you feel connected to yourself.

Creative Anchor Exercise: “Your Personal Anchor”

  • Identify Your Anchor: Think about activities that make you feel calm and centered. Here are some examples:
  • Nature Walks: Spend time in nature, whether it’s a park or a forest 🌳 - no matter.
  • Creative Hobbies: Make or do something with your hands 👐🏻.
  • Physical Exercise: Do any physical activity that you enjoy 🏃‍♀️.
  • Meditation or Breathing Exercises: Spend a few minutes meditating or doing deep breathing exercises.
  • Digital Detox Day: Dedicate an entire day to being completely offline. No phones, computers, or TVs. Use this time to engage in activities that you usually don’t have time for, like reading a book, cooking a new recipe, or exploring a new part of your city 📖.

Then reflect: After completing your anchor activity, take a few moments to reflect on how you feel. Notice the difference in your mental state and how it helps you tackle tasks more effectively and with more positive energy.

By integrating these practices into your daily routine, you’ll find it easier to manage time and stay focused. Remember, taking care of your mental well-being is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. So, give yourself the mindfulness break you deserve and find your anchor in the overwhelm. Your brain will thank you. 🌟

Clients have found this Ted Talk by Laura Vanderkam “How to gain control over your free time” insightful.

Interested to learn more? Book your free first consultation, and let’s start this journey together✨

Karla Schlaepfer