In a quest for peace and simplicity, but a day and age of information overload and unending overwhelm, too many of us live in a state of near-panic. Only recently have I discovered in my own life that multi-tasking is the biggest source of my struggle.

I have conditioned myself over many years to try to be as efficient as possible by doing more things in less time, thus naturally leading to habits like…talking on the telephone while painting my toenails and cleaning the kitchen between coats of polish. As a mother, it only gets worse. I am helping my child read a book while cooking chicken in the skillet and sweeping the dining room floor. The result: My son is frustrated, the chicken gets overcooked, I am stressed out and the dining room floor only gets half done.

Was multi-tasking really the ideal solution?

The result of this lifestyle is my kids having behavioral problems, which lead me to driving 45 minutes to the nearest play therapist, and paying money I do not have for him to tell me to play with my children for five minutes per day each, one-on-one, undistracted. That is the solution. Give them my undivided attention for as little as five minutes per day and their behavior and our family functioning will improve dramatically.

The advice is telling. How much is multi-tasking and distraction adding to my distress instead of improving my efficiency? Instead of getting two things done well, I end up with ten things half-done, yelling at the children, and wanting to pull my hair out.

Can you relate? Have you tried actively stopping your brain from going into multi-task mode and instead staying mentally and physically with one thing at a time? As I do this more and more, I am seeing a huge payoff. My kids will confirm the cooking improvement alone is evidence of success! As for the quality of our family functioning, peacefulness, and happiness, that my friends is priceless!

Less is more,

Nikola Rosa