Updated: Nov 25, 2019
We all think we can multitask. I know I used to! I’d be checking my email, listening to a podcast, and trying to make breakfast--all while trying to plan the next task I wanted to cross off my to-do list. Seems like I was getting a lot done, right? Unfortunately, no. By trying to do all these activities at once, I was actually making all the activities take longer, making me less efficient. It takes time to shift between 2 tasks, say checking email and cooking eggs. And that transition time is simply time I could have spent completing a task instead of task-shifting.
I was also stressing myself out unnecessarily because I wasn’t actually getting anything done well. Sometimes I’d overcook the eggs or burn the toast because I’d get lost doing one of the other tasks. Cooking toast twice is a waste of time (and toast!). Any this idea doesn’t just apply to toast. Multitasking is a problem in all areas of life, because it creates inefficiency, stress, and waste. And it’s so unnecessary. Yoga and meditation can help us improve our focus, which increases productivity, reduces inefficiency, and decreases stress.
The Problem with Multitasking
The brain cannot actually multitask. It can task-shift quickly, making it seem like we’re doing two tasks at the same time, but we can only do 1 task at a time. The problem? It also takes time to shift between each task, and the task-shift time adds up. I know I’ve had the experience of checking my email, getting interrupted, and then going back to checking email, having to re-read emails I’ve already looked through just to figure out what I’ve already read. Not efficient. Imagine compounding this effect over multiple tasks throughout the day, throughout the week, throughout the year. Productivity experts agree: focusing on 1 task at a time increases productivity.
Yoga and Meditation Help Us Focus, Increasing Productivity
Here’s where yoga and meditation can help: Yoga and meditation train the mind to focus. When we do yoga and meditation regularly, we practice focusing on being present in the moment and doing the task at hand, just staying with it. Then we can take that focus we’ve practiced off our mats and apply it to our jobs, to our relationships, to anything that’s important to us, 1 task at a time. As a side benefit, this focus increases our memory, because we’re 100% present while we’re doing the task, so we remember it better.
Yoga and Meditation Reduce Stress
It seems like everyone these days is trying to get more done in less time. We feel like we’re always behind, which leaves us feeling stressed and anxious. Yoga and meditation can help. How? Since yoga and meditation improve our focus, we’re able to get more done in less time and with less stress, because we’re not trying to accomplish the impossible task of doing 2 things at once. And in this hectic world, who doesn’t want that? Further, yoga and meditation release dopamine and serotonin into the brain, two “feel good” chemicals that help us relax and stay focused. It’s a two-for-one. (1) We feel less anxious because of the dopamine and serotonin and; (2) we’re actually able to focus more and get more done in less time, allowing us to take some of those to-dos off our plates.
Sometimes people say to me, “I would love to do yoga if I only had the time.” My response? “Yoga saves you time, because it teaches us how to focus. And focus is the key to getting more done in less time.” Plus, yoga and meditation create more health in your body, release stress, and make your feel amazing. Want to help your employees and co-workers focus more and stress less? Contact me for a complimentary consultation. I’d love to help you and your team put the power of yoga and meditation to work for you.