Do you multi-task or uni-task?
You can have a cup of tea while you are working or doing many other things. Or you can have a cup of tea and really enjoy the flavour and the experience.
That is the difference between uni-tasking and multi-tasking.
Thich Nhat Hahn in his lovely little book ‘The Miracle of Mindfulness’ reminds us that you can do the dishes to clean up and prepare for having a cup of tea, or you can do the dishes to do the dishes. There might not seem to be much difference, but doing one thing fully with awareness means not projecting into the future. It means being fully immersed of the experience. So be fully immersed into doing the dishes, then be fully immersed in making and drinking the tea. Can you see the difference?
So often while we are at work we might think about being at home or on holidays. Or while we are on holidays we might be thinking about a problem at work.
To the extent that we are in our heads about the past or future, that is the extent that we are not present, or not uni-tasking.
Yogis suggest uni-tasking, or being mindful, doing one thing at a time, for many reasons.
To be present with the simple pleasure of living life in a way that is present and aware.
To be able to observe the mind. A mind that is all over the shop is going to be hard to rein in and quieten down. A mind that is living in the past or the future for most of the time is not being present. A focused mind is easier to drop back from for meditation. A focused mind is one that will allow us to get perspective on life, being and reality.
Doing one thing at a time properly is more efficient, and not only that, it feels so much better too!
Fully immerse yourself the next time you eat something, eating slowly with full awareness of the flavours and textures, and see for yourself.
Think about what you want from life, and whether uni-tasking or multi-tasking is better for you. I’d love to know!
You can purchase your own set of these contemplation cards from the store HERE and postage is free in Australia. The picture on the front of each card is by Gayle Stone Art. I’d love your feedback and look out for my blog about the next card soon.