Earlier this week, I began preparing for a big report I am planning to present to my boss (for his boss). The document required me to gather a lot of data about our digital performance for a specific period. I tend to have several internet tabs and applications open at once.
In this instance, I had a tab open for each platform I was evaluating, alongside several applications I was using to calculate and draft charts. I noticed my computer began running slower as the day went on, but I pressed on flitting between monitors. Finally, about 2:30pm, an ominous dialogue box popped up telling me that my computer's memory was low and I needed to Force Quit a bunch of applications.
This was the perfect time for Word to freeze. Of course, I hadn't saved my work as I wrote. I spent the next couple of minutes or so feverishly trying to close other applications so I wouldn't lose my report.
First email, then Excel, then Preview. Still, the buffering wheel only seemed to spin faster, and my computer was starting to sound like the neglected alternator in my truck. I began opening up the many browser windows I had opened only to close tab after tab of articles and dashboards.
Luckily, I was able to save my work, but I saw so many parallels in other areas of my life. How many times have I had to pause to close the tabs of my racing mind?
Work, life, and goals continually pull me in many different directions. Add obligations, desires, and anxiety to that. If I were to compartmentalize these things into internet tabs; I would have a million tabs open all the time...just like I do at work.
And just like my work computer, I needed to find a way to close the tabs before I crashed myself.
Multitasking is an illusion
Having all the tabs open at once is the best representation of the many thoughts running through my head at all time.
While it seems productive perhaps thoughtful to hop from tab to tab, our brains are not equipped to focus process each one. If anything, it exposed my tendency to be scatterbrained. Jumping from one tab/thought to the next doesn't allow you to give your full attention.
The idea of being able to do it all is way more glamorous than the execution of it all. You know what's not cute? Exhaustion. When I first started traveling, I would create these jam-packed itineraries. While it's great to experience everything, it can be draining. Do things at your own pace. There is no race other than the marathon of life, and it doesn't require you to sprint.
Feed Your Focus
I am a big believer that what you feed will manifest. If you focus on anxieties, you will take actions that either creates anxiety. Focus on abundance instead of lack. What are you hoping to gain from the experience rather than why is this happening to me? Focus on the lesson.
Even with anxiety at the forefront, the many obligations to my work and family linger in the background. Trust me, I fully acknowledge that it is easier said than done. I have to remind myself that I am here for a specific reason. That is enough reason for to be full present in my work, with my family and friends, and in my endeavors. There is no one that can provide the world with the gifts that I have the way that I would.
Do not rob the world of your presence for the sake of a million tabs being open all at once.