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the magic + art of "single-tasking"

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I used to always pride myself on my ability to multi-task. I think there’s a time and a place for multi-tasking and that it can be a valuable skill. Ever since having Shiloh though (or really…ever since getting pregnant), I’ve really started suffering from “mom brain”. This might mean something different for every momma, but for me…it basically means my brain is in a million different places at once, and I’m not able to REALLY focus on one thing, ever. Because I’m constantly thinking about a million other things. For example, physically, I will be in a workout class, but mentally…I am in the grocery store getting stuff for dinner, sending the email I forgot to send last night, calling to set up an appointment for Shiloh, writing blog posts, texting my friend back 2 days late, etc etc. Physically I’ll be in a class at Orange Theory but mentally, I’m stressed thinking about all of the things on my to-do list that day. You know what I mean?

I’ve found that when my mind is in a million different places like that…I’m actually accomplishing nothing (even though my brain THINKS it’s multi-tasking). I leave the workout class still feeling stressed, or I leave the coffee date with a friend not REALLY knowing what we just talked about…because my mind was so scattered the whole time. I don’t think this is something only moms struggle with. I think this is a struggle of any person who has a full plate (and possibly too much on their plate).

Let me tell you a little backstory on how I first discovered the beauty in “single-tasking” aka focusing on ONE thing at a time. When I went to France with my mom, Michael, and Shiloh a month ago…I was kind of stressed going into the trip. I knew I needed to work on that trip, I needed to get a long run in for marathon training, and I also wanted to just explore the city and spend time with my family. That’s a lot of things to cram into one 5 day trip. Once we got to Paris, I realized working and marathon training were not possible unless I decided to sacrifice time with my family and exploring the city. I decided once we got there “this trip is about exploring this beautiful country with my family, and all other things can wait.” Why did I decide that? Yes, work is important. Training for my marathon is important. But at the end of the day…when I get to the end of this year, or when I am 50 years old, looking back on my trip to France…will I remember staying caught up on emails and writing blog posts, or will I remember walking around the Eiffel tower with my mom and Shiloh? Date nights with my husband and wine tasting ini Bordeaux? I let myself think big picture and decided ‘what is the most important thing here?’, and I gave my mind, soul, and body the freedom to “single-task”.

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Ever since my France trip…I’ve carried that mentality into my everyday life. I realized when I am SO scatter brained and mentally in a million different places at once, HOW MUCH of life I really miss out on! You can be at coffee with a friend and totally miss out on that conversation and connection because mentally you’re making to-do lists or stressing about how far behind you are on a project. I have been finding SO MUCH LIFE in “single-tasking”. When I’m in a workout class, I let myself be fully there. I tell myself “for the next 60 minutes, ALL you have to do, is be here, in this room, and exercise your body.” We had both of our families in town this past weekend…during a really busy work season for me. But instead of kinda being with family and kinda being on my phone getting work done…I decided to BE ALL THERE with family. Work can wait. And we had an amazing time and great conversations and created wonderful memories!

I apply this same mentality to my work. Right now, as I write this blog post…I am in “work mode”. I’m not writing this blog post and playing with Shiloh and texting my mom. I am fully-focused, giving this blog post my all. Because you know what? When you live life that way – giving your all to every single task that you do…there is so much fruit in that.

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This is a crazy time of year for everyone, and I get that. Traveling to be with family over the holidays, Christmas shopping, deadlines at work, hosting, decorating your house, etc. I want to encourage you though to challenge yourself to single-task in every thing that you do. Have a one track mind. When you are at work…be fully at work and give it your all. When you’re playing with your baby, put your phone away and be fully present with your baby. When you’re working out, kick your own butt and give it 100% and be fully present IN that workout. When you are with your family over the holidays…remind yourself that work can wait and now is the time to be fully present with the people you love the most. Give yourself the space to make beautiful memories and have encouraging conversations and laugh your butt off over a glass of wine with your sister. Our brains try and tell us that we constantly need to be doing a million things at once…and the reality is, you are actually accomplishing nothing when your brain is such a scattered mess. Be present. Let your mind do ONE thing at a time.

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Speaking of having a one tracked mind…I’ve already started doing some Christmas shopping and of course I’ve found Nordstrom to be my one stop shop, whether I’m shopping for gifts or holiday outfiits! Christmas shopping is another task that can be so overwhelming, so I’ve found it helpful to block off 30 minutes, hop on the Nordstrom website, and shop for one person on my list at a time! This cozy cowl neck sweater would make for a great gift for your mom, mother-in-law, or sister!

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Just wanted to share something that’s been on my heart lately…and a new “skill” that’s really helped me to make the most out of every minute and experience of my day! Comment below if you have any more tips to fight this scattered / mom brain epidemic!

Thanks for reading!

xo Lauren

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