Time Management Tip #2 – Apply Yourself

“Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” ~Swami Sivananda

As I was writing the last post, “Stop Waiting,” a niggling part of me was saying… “well, that’s not necessarily the best thing, is it?

I frequently joke about being The World’s Worst Buddhist. This is not true, of course; I am neither the best nor the worst anything in the world – I am merely Below Average. Of the many Buddhist teachings which I have failed to take entirely to heart is applying oneself to the moment’s task – “being in the moment,” as we so often heard it phrased.

When walking, walk: Be aware of the feeling of the ground as it touches each part of the foot, of the sensation of the air passing over the skin, of each muscle group tensing and releasing through the motions, of the breath in and out. This is a glorious thing when one can achieve it, but some of us have a horrifically active and strong-willed monkey mind, and crave ever-more stimulation.

Personally, I blame the internet.

Before computers and all this marvelous technology game along, I had an attention span a mile wide and twice as deep. I could focus like a laser and be completely content doing one thing at a time (usually.) I was seldom bored. Since 1988, however, the year I went to college and discovered The Internet, my brain has been the equivalent of a hopped-up meth-head ferret. I continually seek distractions, preferably multiple distractions, at any given time.

  • I play EVE, have a TV show or movie going, and do email.
  • I clean the kitchen, and listen to a podcast, while wishing I had something to watch on TV
  • I knit, have something on television and still feel like there’s something else I should be paying attention to or doing

This is ridiculous, of course. It is not healthy for me, personally, and it’s not especially productive.

As Aaron noted in a comment two posts ago, applying oneself to one’s tasks is a really good idea. He linked this page.

When I do chores, I tend to do multiple chores – I’ve never been a particularly focused chore-doer, I admit, but it’s a schizophrenic trainwreck these days. I’ll spend five or ten minutes on the kitchen, do half a bathroom, go back to the kitchen, get bored/fed up and go plop in front of the computer because I don’t see any noticeable results from my efforts.

Well, of course I don’t – my efforts are as all over the place as my brain is.

I would imagine, were I to apply myself to one room rather than going betwixt multiple rooms, I would get more noticeable results more quickly. I would probably feel as if I were getting “more done.”

More than a little ironically, I started writing this post weeks ago and never finished. Bah!

But I have other important news to share with you, so it is going to be cut short. For now. 🙂



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