“Mental Multitasking” Is Ruining Your Life - Here’s How To Stop ItApr 29, 2023
This January, I was in Cancun for a planned holiday with my girlfriend.
I had recently moved across the country and she went through a stressful time as well.
We hadn’t seen each other for 3 months and were looking forward to a well-needed vacation.
This turned out to be challenging for me though:
At first - even while lying on the beach or enjoying a drink - I could only think about business.
I felt uncomfortable, even guilty, about relaxing and thought I should be working.
And if you’re like the entrepreneurs I’ve talked to through the past months, you can relate to this:
Your “plate” is always full.
And no matter how full it already is, there’s always more you could do!
Taking time off might be unimaginable.
And it’s exhausting.
In this newsletter, you’ll learn how to eliminate the biggest cause of chronic distress.
The reality is that you’re likely “working”, even if you’re doing nothing.
And it’s destroying your creativity, vitality, and ability to enjoy life.
Continue reading to learn how to change it.
The Zeignarnik Effect
Bluma Zeigarnik was a Russian psychologist who studied human memory.
One day at a restaurant, she noticed how the waiter took 20 orders for her group, without writing them down.
Still, he delivered them correctly.
Impressed, she tried to figure out how he could do this feat.
She asked him what the previous table ordered, he couldn’t recall a single order!
As soon as he delivered the order, the waiter forgot about it.
Bluma and her team studied this pattern and concluded:
Your brain retains the unfinished tasks that are constantly drawing the attention of your mind.
And when you finish them, the brain eliminates them.
Here’s the danger for you as an online entrepreneur:
Your business is an unfinished task.
There’s always something you could do:
- More posts
- More client calls
- More advertising
- More networking
And it’s a guarantee for chronic stress if you don’t manage it the right way.
Open loops keep you engaged in your work, even while you’re trying to relax:
As an ambitious person, your thoughts tend to constantly revolve around your goals.
And while a healthy dose of obsessions is necessary, thinking about work all the time won’t lead to your desired outcome.
Research shows that you need “downtime” for your brain to be truly creative.
Disengaging with work allows your brain to draw new connections that lead to creativity.
For example, Charles Darwin went for a long walk between his writing and studying sessions while he created “The Origin of Species”.
He wasn’t “grinding” for 16 hours per day.
Rest allowed him to create some of the greatest work in history.
So if Darwin needed time off to produce his greatest work, why should it be different for you?
The second way these loops keep you involved is emotional:
On top of constantly thinking about work, you may feel weird or even guilty, for taking a break as there’s so much you could do.
Don’t get me wrong - feeling joy and excitement about pursuing your goal is great.
But if you feel guilty for not putting in more effort, that will lead you down a negative spiral.
The reality is that you might think you can do more, but you really can’t.
You will exhaust yourself and lose your productivity.
Remember Charles Darwin:
You can’t produce great work if you’re only at 50% all the time.
That’s why rest and proper sleep (click HERE to learn everything you need about sleep) are so important.
How do you fix this?
The solution is what I call The Mindful Lifestyle.
When you hear about mindfulness, you probably think about meditation and sitting in silence.
The second thought is likely “I don’t have time for this!”.
However, there’s more to that:
You can be in meditation, even if you’re working.
One of my mentors Jim Fortin said that meditation isn’t just a practice, it’s a state.
A state of presence and inner calmness.
I like to think of it as living presently.
This means being connected to the moment, no matter what you do:
- If you eat, you eat.
- If you work, you work.
- If you relax at the beach, you relax.
- If you talk to a family member, you do that.
That way, you don’t fall into the trap of ruminating over your business all the time.
To do so, you need to quit one of the most destructive habits in the modern world:
You have to stop multitasking.
It’s a myth that multitasking makes you more productive.
The human brain is not designed to multi-task.
If you’re “multitasking”, you’re doing different tasks parallel, not simultaneously.
That’s like cooking multiple dishes at once, trying to keep track of each one's cooking time and temperature.
You’ll get stressed out and burn both.
But you also have to stop “mental” multitasking:
Close the open loops and allow yourself to be present.
If you don’t manage this, you will neither be able to produce high-quality work nor will you be able to enjoy true rest when you need it.
You lose your productivity and your enjoyment.
One of the most powerful ways to do so is to write down and schedule your tasks.
This will finally allow your mind to rest, because you know you’ll do what has to be done – at the right time.
It’s what I did to finally be able to enjoy my holiday in Mexico.
Here are some ways to practice living presently:
- Eat, without looking at a screen
- Do your workout, without listening to music
- Go for a walk and leave your phone at home
- Only have one tab open while you’re working
- Remove all phones from the table when you’re having a family dinner
This will be uncomfortable at first, but over time your stress will go down and your energy and enjoyment will go up.
Recognize that thinking about a task can be just as draining as the task itself.
You need to close open loops, or they will keep you occupied - even if you’re not actively working.
Writing and scheduling are some of the best ways to do that.
Also, learn to be emotionally neutral around your work.
Feeling guilty for not working more slows your progress (and makes you miserable on top of that).
The Mindful Lifestyle is the ultimate goal, where your thoughts don’t revolve around your work unless you’re actively engaged in it.
It will create a higher quality of work, enjoyment, and energy for yourself.
So how will you choose?
Will you continue to allow the open loops to exhaust yourself?
Or do you start living presently?
If want to learn more about how to deal with stress effectively, so that you can finally get rid of these stubborn 12-25lbs sustainably, click HERE.
After this free, 30-minute breakthrough call, you will have a clear strategy for how to reach your goals, without any restrictive diets.
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