The joy of single-tasking

Posted: March 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I don’t think I’ve multi-tasked for days.  Well, I’m currently eating three squares of dark chocolate orange whilst writing this but really multi-taking…nope.  I realised this when I’d finished my gardening for the day (seventh and unfortunately final day of my first WWOOF placement here is Tassie) and found myself trying to carry mug, water bottle, trowel, spade and numerous bits of wire all over to the shed at one time.  Then I simply dropped them all, picked up two and did several trips across the sun-soaked garden instead of the intended one, admiring the rose beds as I went.  At this point, I also realised how slowly I have taken to walking, enjoying each footfall, knowing that whatever it is I’m doing will take as long as it takes and that’s ok. 

Which naturally got me to thinking of the usual routine back at home.  I’m sure the reality of downing morning coffee whilst charging phone whilst driving to work whilst planning a lesson whilst decided what to do in the pre-work gym session whilst trying to text someone about something you forgot to text the previous evening etc. etc (or thereabouts) is nothing new to anyone.  Nor the reality of lunchtimes being a thing of the past. 

When I first arrived at the school I’m currently taking a sabbatical from, my colleagues-soontobe-friends and I enjoyed ‘tea club’ each afternoon after lessons had finished and before we started all the other work.  One friend used to prance from classroom to classroom singing ‘Tea, Tea!’ and we’d all pour over to the staffroom, exhausted from the afternoon’s teaching and have a good laugh.  That lasted a year.  Now, we sometimes grab five minutes together at breaktime but even that is often ruled out by additional meetings or needing to follow up behaviour or learning issues.

Anyway, it’s great to be going at a slower pace.  How on earth is anyone supposed to foster presence and mindfulness when your presence entails four or five things all taking place at precisely the same time.  I used to think yoga retreats and the like were a bit pointless – it’s all very well being relaxed and centred for two (very expensive) days but surely it vanishes into thin air as soon as normality resumes, I thought.  But I’m beginning to think that maybe it sinks a little deeper than that.  Especially with consciousness and awareness of what it is you’ve captured and how it can be nurtured.  I hope so anyway.  I leave this beautiful Huon Valley idyll tomorrow and head for Hobart before back to the chaos of Sydney the following day.  If nothing else, I’d like to think I can capture at least parts of the day for single-tasking.  We’ll see.

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Comments
  1. zozowalter says:

    Did you enjoy your stay? I live in Hobart and it’s nice to hear someone NOT cracking jokes about two-headedness! 🙂

    • Loved it! It’s now officially in my top three capital cities and definitely would be the one I’d live in if I couldn’t live in Devon, England. The driver on the bus there this morning said goodbye to every single person (about twenty) as they left, plus wagged a good-natured finger at some teenagers about to run over the road… It’s not like a normal city (which is great news!!) have you always lived there?

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