I was sitting at my computer a while back, jumping back and forth between checking emails, writing an article, and the occasional Facebooking. I felt like Wonder Woman with my candle lit, lavender oil at hand to nix stressful moments, and hot water with lemon within reach.
I wrapped up my work day and realized that I was feeling totally scattered and filled with anxiety.
My lunch break had been 15 minutes of “mindfully” eating my quinoa salad, with a candle lit. But wait, I should definitely Instagram this, right? It’s a great example of an easy gluten-free, dairy-free lunch, and my clients and friends would love the recipe!
Before I know it, I’m obsessing over which filter to use, how many hashtags are appropriate, and then I’m scrolling through my friend’s pictures of his new baby, while quickly eating my lunch.
I’m suddenly finished, and left feeling totally unsatisfied. I reach for some chocolate to round things out, and my heart rate skyrockets, blood sugar spikes, and I’m exhausted and craving sweet potato fries at 4 pm.
Does any of this sound familiar?
About a year ago, I was scraping the bottom of the barrel. I was living a super healthy life as a health coach, helping women struggling with adrenal fatigue and emotional eating.
With a few too many projects on my plate, I was thrilled with my work, but still feeling a lot of anxiety and unease.
What’s missing from this picture is my new golden rule: single point of focus.
Single point of focus means you only focus on one thing at a time. Whether you’re working on a proposal, or simply walking down the street, 100% commitment is key.
If we continue multitasking, we never absorb the full effects of whatever it is we’re doing. If you’re taking yoga and thinking about your to-do list, you’re probably going to leave that class feeling anxious and guilty for taking time for yourself.
The best approach is to savor that class, and acknowledge the fact that it will bring you peace of mind, allowing space to create new ideas with authenticity. When you make everything an experience, life becomes a whole lot more fun. You start to notice the little things, like how different chocolate tastes when you let it melt on your tongue, or how truly satisfying that quinoa salad is when you eat it slowly and imagine it nourishing your body completely.
Sounds easy right? Not so much.
We’re plagued by multitasking, and most people even wear it as a badge of honor. If you’re feeling frustrated, full of anxiety or unhappy with your body, but you feel like you’re doing everything “right,” keep reading.
The first step to honing this skill is pre-framing.
Wake up and set the tone for your day. Give yourself time to stretch, meditate, or dance. Then ask yourself how you want to feel, and set an intention for the day.
So, how can you apply single point of focus to the different areas of your life?
For your body: With so many dietary theories, it’s easy to be paleo on Tuesdays, macrobiotic on Thursdays and a “flexitarian” on the weekend.
The common denominator?
You’re 100% confused about what actually works for you, and you’re dealing with extra weight, chronic fatigue, or some other annoying health issue.
When you’re experimenting with a new eating approach, dedicate yourself to it for at least two weeks. This allows your body to truly acclimate. Go all in. See if it works and leaves you feeling full of energy, joy and focus. If not, sayonara!
Once you find exactly what works for your body, stick with it and don’t allow yourself to be swayed by that supermodel friend who has an incredible body and swears by veganism. What works for her won't necessarily work for you.
For your career: Block off times in your calendar to focus 100% on single tasks. Complete projects fully before moving on to the next. If the project is lengthy, set your timer for a short break every 90 minutes.
For your relationship: Ditch the iPhone and focus on your amazing partner 100%. Give yourself permission to melt into your experiences with your significant other.
Abandoning your phone when you’re together reduces that pesky cortisol, which interferes with the natural production of sex hormones and leaves you in a constant state of minor panic.
Say goodbye to your phone and hello to your sheets. Light some candles while you’re at it and crack your favorite bottle of wine. Someone likes you enough to spend lots of time with you — they deserve your undivided attention.
It might be easier for most people to employ single point of focus at work — especially those with watchful bosses — but what if you acknowledged it’s just as important to focus 100% on leisure activities?
With single point of focus, you end up extracting the most pleasure out of every experience.
We get so distracted and enmeshed in multitasking that we end up experiencing little else than our iPhones. When you experience pleasure on a deeper level, it fuels you to put in focused work at your job. It’s a cyclical pattern that you must nurture and move with.
Do you employ single point of focus? If not, how would implementing it help you most? It isn’t easy, but it’s simple.
If you’re looking for support in this area, or have questions about the concept of single point of focus, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve got your back and am here to support you 100% — I’ve been there.