Saturday, February 5, 2011

Single-tasking

My weekly entry is a little later than usual!  I normally try to write on Wednesday or Thursday, but things didn't quite work out as planned.  I had my set amount of time I had scheduled out for myself to write, but I found that once I started writing the topic was much bigger than the time slot!  I saved my draft and I'll work on it and post it next week.  It's about meditation, a topic that's been on my mind a lot lately as I stay strong on my New Year's Resolution to meditate every single day - and as I mark Day 33 of my 40-day japa mala practice.  (Woohoo!)

I'm often very guilty of overplanning.  I touched on this a little a couple weeks ago (One thing at a time) when I wrote of being overwhelmed at all the things I need to accomplish in order to get my Thai Yoga Massage career going, among other things.  Aside from having a million to-do's I want to achieve in an unspecified 'long term' situation, I tend to pack in a million things day-to-day.  There are only so many hours in them, y'know?  I try to make the most of them.  Even within the day, if I'm checking my email or writing a blog, chances are very, very good that at some point I will randomly and abruptly stop, open up another tab in my Internet browser, and look at Facebook.  Or iGoogle.  Or the New York Times website.  Or weather.com (because I am my mother's daughter).  Especially for a yoga teacher, I have some issues with getting my mind to focus completely.

A few weeks ago, I had planned out Thursday as a day completely, 100% devoted to alphabetizing our books.  I remember first walking into Marc's old apartment when we first started dating and falling even more in love with him because he had SO many books!  His room was like a Barnes & Noble.  Unfortunately - as you may have discerned - they were in absolutely no order whatsoever.  This drives an organized person like me a little bit insane.  So after over a year of being together and after six months of living together, the day had finally arrived.

As Thursday approached, however, I grew a little complacent over how long I'd need to do this project and started tacking on other tasks to complete along with it.  Finish my blog, do laundry, make homemade soup - I even agreed to sub a yoga class.

I started work at 8:30am and didn't finish until 6, when I was running out the door to teach.  Not a single thing got accomplished other than organizing those millions upon millions of books.  At first when noon was approaching and I realized I wasn't doing anything with my day besides alphabetizing, I felt a tiny frission of...well, a couple things.  Frustration, irritation, vague panic.  It very quickly dissipated when I accepted it and got even more nerdily excited about my mission.

I can't remember the last time I had a day devoted to one simple task.  I hardly paid attention to my email, I had the tv on just for cheesy background (I do not miss daytime tv), and it felt so oddly soothing and peaceful.  By the time I needed to teach the class, I felt confident even though I hadn't planned ahead at all.  I think it was one of the best classes I've ever taught.  I felt confident, I had a spontaneous yet clear direction and theme, and a roomful of kind, happy students at the end of class.

I won't always be able to block off an entire day do to some kind of project that will give me an organizational nerd / focused mind / peace fix.  But I do have a lot of control over how I divide and devote my time.

Right now - I'm devoting it to meditation.  Happy Saturday, and happy Superbowl Sunday if that's a holiday in your household :)

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