Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Power of Doing One Thing At A Time

Or I could have titled this post, What Those Rainbow Loom Rubber Bands (that are all over my house!) Taught Me

Lately, at the end of the day, I have been asking myself, "When were the times today that I was totally at peace, happy, and calm?" I also ask myself, "When were the times today that I was stressed, irritated, and frustrated?"  And I have started to notice a pattern.

When I give my attention fully to what I am doing and when I quiet my busy mind and focus on the present task, I am calm, happy, and at peace. It is true. 

Recently our dryer was broken and I had to hang our clothes on a line in the basement to dry. And who would have guessed that doing that monotonous task was when I experienced the most happiness and peace that particular day. Why? Because I was moving slow, because I gave my undivided attention to the task at hand, because I was not thinking about what was next. I was fully engaged in the present.

found here
I know for sure that one key to running an intentional home is learning how to do one thing at a time. When you do something, do just that. Be there. Don’t try to do something else physically or mentally in your mind. Engage fully in the task at hand. I have found that when I do this, I enjoy my days more. 

found here
We women are often praised for our ability to multitask. But I am discovering multitaksing only leads to added tension and stress in my day. The pros of multitaksing are all a lie. When we multitask, the end result is not nearly as good as if we focused on just one task at a time. We make more mistakes. We also do not enjoy tasks as much. And our energy just gets sucked right out of us.

And here is the part where I want to tell you about those rainbow loom rubber bands that are all over my house.
 

Recently Jonathan was sitting in the living room sorting his rainbow loom rubber bands by color. I was picking up the kitchen, but felt the prompting to go sit beside Jonathan and sort his rubber bands with him. That is another thing, when I move slow and when I am more aware of the present, I tend to notice God's promptings more. I was not necessarily excited to stop what I was doing and sort rubber bands, but I felt like this is what God wanted me to do.



So I sat down and began picking out all the yellow bands. I was not thinking about what had happened earlier in the day. I was not thinking about what was to come or what needed to be done. I was thinking about yellow rubber bands and my Jonathan. 

I did not pick up the phone when it rang. I did not make a grocery list in my mind. I did not make a mental list of what I needed to do next. My only priority was getting all the yellow rubber bands into their little section of the box and talking with Jonathan. I really paid attention to all he had to tell me about rainbow loom designs. There was no just nodding my head and thinking about something else. I was fully engaged.



And you know what.  Those 20 minutes were the best part of my day that particular day.  That was the time I enjoyed the most, the time I was the most calm and at peace.

And as a bonus,  I bet I communicated to Jonathan that he was important to me. More important than email, making dinner, or cleaning up. I bet his heart got the message "Jonathan, you are so important to me that I want to spend time with you." I mean the two of us talked and giggled. I really looked into his eyes when I spoke to him. It was a sweet time.  I even had to get my camera out to capture it.  Here's Jonathan and my selfie from that time:


I am learning that doing one thing at a time helps create a richer home, helps me lead a richer life. Intentional women know there is power in doing one thing at a time.

3 comments:

  1. Oh I needed to read this - thank you! Super advice

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  2. I love it.. the kids just finished a project of rainbow loom bracelets for the children of Haiti through our church… at first they were like “what, I have to use MY bands and give them to them”.

    I was shocked… because your picture of the bands is small compared to all of the bands they have accumulated and weren’t necessarily using… I said, “let’s sort these together and feel accomplished”.

    It took us about an hour… they lost sight of everything except our conversation about why we are doing this and why it’s good for them to share ….. It’s funny you post this days after our Haiti project …

    Thanks for sharing…

    Sandy

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  3. Thank you for the post today! I also feel like I accomplish more and feel better when working on one thing at a time. Will try this right away :)

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