How Multi-tasking Slows You Down

Look, I know how it is. You have a busy schedule, maybe a child (or two), an important job, or maybe your own business. The point is you have responsibilities and your to-do list is a mile long. In your best effort to stay ahead of the curve, you feel like you HAVE TO do it all, and do it all right now!!! You don’t even know how you became a multi-tasking demon or maybe you’re in denial that you are one at all? Have no fear, Lindsay’s here. Let’s s l o w down and find a present state of being that allows you to actually get things done and keep your sanity to boot.

 

  • Get real The first step in any good recovery program is to get free from denial. Yes, you heard me right, “denial my dear is NOT just a river in Egypt.” It is where you are if you think juggling ten (or even two) balls at once is productive. Once you’ve come clean, you have to sit with it and start to build your in-the-present power. Start paying attention to how you pile on your tasks. Stop, take a breath, and pick just one. Try not to get frustrated when in minutes time you find yourself piling it on again. Stop. Take a breath. Choose one task. Repeat as necessary. You build up your multi-task muscle so now it’s time to develop your strength in a different way.*extra credit for sitting and meditating

  • Bundle that shiznit I recently read an alarming statistic that says if we check out email every five minutes it’s a total of 24,000 times a year! Just put down the iPhone. Practice bundling your tasks like email, phone calls, paying bills. etc. You will save so much time AND energy focusing on one task for a predetermined time. If you’re a recovering email addict like myself, you’ll most likely go through some withdrawals. I recommend scheduling specific times to check the email, maybe once an hour (if you’re really a user;) and then slowly increase the space until you are only checking it two or three times a day! You will find that you suddenly have time to do the dishes, get a workout in, heck- write that book. You can thank me later…

 

 

 

 

  • Streamline your to-dos If you’re like me, my to-do list can overwhelm even the most organized time management ninjas. I deal with it two ways:
    • If I’m overwhelmed, I use my biz goddess of a mentor, Marie Forleo’s brilliant overwhelm exercise. Sit for 10 min and brain dump. Write down everything in your brain that you have to do, are stressed about, etc without editing. Then, take 5 min to cross off anything that you have no control over. Worried about your kid finding friends at school? Cross that off. Will your new client like you and want to continue? Criss cross. Finally, take what you have left and schedule the steps you will need to accomplish to complete said task. Remember: If it’s not scheduled it’s not real.
    • Be okay with accomplishing only 3 tasks a day. Wellness warrior, Kris Carr, says “I can only metabolize 3 tasks a day.” For the multi-tasking master this may seem like child’s play but it works. By narrowing it down to 3 do-able tasks you feel successful, not overwhelmed. Then if you have more time, you can always add on more. Follow this step with a simple affirmation: “I have done the perfect amount today”. Booyah. Productivity mojo.

Now it’s your turn. How do you keep your sanity and get more done? Pick a strategy, try it out, and leave your findings below. I want to hear from you!

AND if you want more productivity tips and top-notch business advice from someone who’s been there, >sign up for a FREE 30 min biz consult. Let’s start the business of your dreams!

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Don’t give up.

81489682ba2f05b13c3ce8af8d39a155Just six short months ago my life was at a standstill. Due to the wear and tear of being a professional dancer, I had seriously pulled my left hamstring. I always thought that when I had a life altering injury it would be my back or my knee. Although back and knee injuries are much worse, they often require surgery with a prescribed recovery. Hamstring injuries are much more elusive. No one really knows how long it can take to heal. In denial and jobless, I continued to dance and desperately audition on it for months. One particularly hectic morning, I forgot to pack my dance pants to wear under my skirt for an audition of West Side Story. I franticly ran around the garment district praying for a solution. Finally, I had to purchase an industrial sized pack of granny panties! By then I was too late to properly warm up for the audition (which always includes my hundred!) and dancing on it cold just made it worse. Finally, with much regret I realized I had better lay off of it or it wasn’t getting better. So, I went back to my roots. My Pilates roots that is.

At first I was unable to perform anything more than beginner Pilates exercises. I was pissed off and depressed not being able to dance for the first time in my life.  Somehow everyday I painstakingly practiced the basic Pilates repertoire. The hundred with bent knees, the 1/2 roll down, single leg circles with bent knees. Pilates was the only thing I could do to be physical and I clung to it like a girl overboard clings to her life raft. The days crept by like a death march and there was many a time during my long eight-month recovery (and my boyfriend can attest to this, he’s a saint by the way) that I was ready to throw up my hands. I was thoroughly convinced that I was never getting better, that I’d never be like I was before. I had resolved to give up my dreams. Before my injury I was an advanced Pilates student, and avid yogi, a professional dancer, a warrior. Being weak and in pain almost constantly drained my natural good nature and strength. I had no sense of who I was without my physicality. I wanted to give up and just be miserable and bitter, but I didn’t. Well at least not for long.

That’s when I started thinking, when do you know it’s time to give up? At what point do you accept where you’re at and just resign? As a Pilates instructor, I have had many a client try to convince me that they “can’t” get an exercise or “never will” progress. And although normally it’s an easy job to inspire them and convince them otherwise I was at a loss in my state. I could barely convince myself to get out of bed some mornings. I felt like a sham.  Who am I to lead others to recovery and health when I couldn’t inspire myself? My mentor overcame a serious neck injury with Pilates (and LOTS of hard work) and is now the strongest woman I know. I decided to make Mr. Pilates prove himself. It was him that said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and “Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.” How do you begin to build without a single brick? Or be patient when you can’t seem to find anything worthwhile? Peter Drucker said “There is a risk you cannot afford to take, and there is the risk you cannot afford not to take.” Giving up gets you nothing. I decided to plant the seeds and try not to get discouraged if I didn’t see immediate results. So I pulled up my boot straps and kept going.

Here’s some tips that helped me:

1-    Find a mentor. When I lived in Los Angeles I had a Pilates instructor that knew my weakness and pushed me accordingly. Now in NYC I had to really look to find someone that inspired me. Taking with a great teacher motivates me to do the exercises correctly and do my homework.

2-    Do the things you don’t want to do. In my experience, the exercises and systems I loathe are the best ones for me. If I continued to only perform the easy exercises I’d have never gotten stronger. The added benefit of doing something you hate is the self confidence that only comes with slaying the demon.

3-    Limit stinkin’ thinkin’. Negative thoughts lead you down the road to no-where. Why not believe in the impossible?

4-    Progress is personal. Comparison to others is pointless. In the studio and in life. We’re all originals. There is no one just like you, so celebrate your unique-ness. Make the most of your sessions and focus on you!

Sometimes life takes you in a different direction than you were first headed, often at an entirely slower pace (just click to tweet;) Pilates is a constant. The specificity of the order and the precision of the exercises can lend comfort and familiarity during a time when nothing else can. I’ve been practicing Pilates for over ten years now (I’m older than you think!) and it always fits in my life wherever I’m at. Pilates is for you whether you’re healthy or injured, fit or out of shape, young or old, That is it’s magic. My advice is to you, take it or leave it, is not give up on yourself five minutes before the breakthrough occurs. In the end it’s always worth the effort, whatever the outcome.

Want more business bounty? Join us this Friday June 20th for our monthly live event, the FORM Biz-nass Social. http://www.formpilates.com/the-form-biz-nass-social/ Get more info and register here today!

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