The Beauty of Monotasking

In our fast-paced world, multi-tasking is no longer an edge; it is now but a minimum requirement. Multi-tasking = one’s ability to do so many things at the same time. I was once a multi-task expert: ironing clothes, cooking, watching TV, and conversing over the phone at one time. Or working on the computer, transacting over the phone, signing documents, and sending text messages at one time. Time is money, or so we say, thus it is important to be fast and efficient.

And that’s one of the so many things that yoga is slowly purging out of my system. I used to do sun salutations while mentally listing down the errands I had to do or the materials I had to prepare the following day. Maybe I was able to get away with it because I used to attend led class—just follow the teacher and your mind could conveniently be elsewhere. And maybe that’s is why some people prefer led over mysore because they do not have to think of the next pose…and can let their minds wander without anyone actually noticing.

As I move on to this journey, more and more I have learned to focus on the present moment…lest, I breathe long on downward dog in sun salute B when I should be moving to warrior or jump to standing pose after downward dog when I am already on the seated sequence. (And I am not trying to be funny—these actually happened!)

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However, focusing on the present moment is something I have started practicing off the mat. I only eat when it is time to eat, only work when it is time to work, only talk to my mom when we do our daily ritual.

The downside is, I now find it offensive when I am taking to someone over the phone and the party asks me to repeat what I said because, guess what, s/he missed it because s/he had to do something or s/he did not want to miss the lines in her/his favorite teleserye (TV series). (I would appreciate it if I were told to call again because s/he was doing something. Really.) I also do not appreciate my company texting over meal as if the world would collapse if s/he will not be able to reply to a message right away. Hey, I have dined with people whose inattention to text messages could cause, no, not the world, but a company to collapse or lose a multi-million-peso deal, but still they give you their full attention. Some would even take out their laptops when we are supposed to catch up on one another. Okay, so I get the message—they are super busy (and I am not?). But I give my full attention so is it not only but fair to get the same in return? I guess the bottom line here is, efficiency is never an excuse for rudeness.

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Efficient = control freak

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But are we really being efficient if we do not focus our attention on only one thing? Take for example my recent experience in a drugstore. I presented the doctor’s prescription to the pharmacist as I ordered Amvasc, a non-OTC drug. I made it clear I was buying Amvasc. Twice. So I was told I had to pay so much without showing me the breakdown of my bill and was asked to sign the credit card slip, which I did. Later on, I was handed so many medicines, including those that were already served, indicated in the prescription as such, and which the pharmacist should not have served again because they are non-OTC. So the pharmacist had to redo his job, which caused both of us 20 minutes of wasted time. So when we try to be efficient, are we also being effective?

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I am off to Davao today, leaving behind my laptop, because I am going there not to work but to recharge (and do yoga) before starting off with a new chapter in my life. I’d say that technology is generally a gift to mankind; in some cases however, it could be detrimental to one’s health. And relationships.

Om.

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