Is it possible to multitask mindfully?

There are two buzzwords in the market today: mindfulness and multitasking. People might be equally divided in opinion when you ask them about productivity – whether multitasking is important for best productivity or mindfulness.

A class of experts believe that one should be mindful of the task at hand to achieve the best result. Some management gurus also propose that you do not take more than a task on hand at a time; do not keep more than one tab open on your desktop; switch off your phone and log out of your social media accounts while working; create your own productivity bubble; and many more similar success tips. On the other hand, a class of experts believe that in today’s fast-paced world, it is impossible to succeed without learning how to multitask. Unless you are managing work with both hands, you are surely going to miss out on something. While replying to an email, you need to know how to answer a phone; how to keep updated on the developments in the world and similar things – all simultaneously.

It is true that we do not have the luxury of time to finish one task at a time and then focus on another. In the time of social media, the maximum one can do is to keep the phone on silent mode and notification on mute, but perhaps it will be difficult for any individual to completely ignore the calls and stay away from that ultramodern device. If one can do so, either s/he is a very accomplished person or is completely amateurish. But for the lesser mortals who are struggling to keep their jobs, run their business in profit, and maintain contacts with family and friends – it is impossible to survive unless they learn to multitask.

There is also a genuine complaint that our attention span has been reduced and competing interests are pulling us in different directions. This demands that we devote more time to an important assignment at hand so that it gets due justice, which can happen only with mindfulness. Any expertise or extraordinary art can be created with full dedication and mindfully meditative efforts. Without giving enough attention, no masterpiece can be created. Most serious tasks have to be attended without any interruption.

Therefore, it is really important to understand whether mindfulness or multitasking is the real mantra for success in today’s life. Answers to this pertinent question may differ from person to person. It may also be different in different situations. But one thing that can be agreed is that some urgent tasks have to be finished by applying multitasking skills while more important and serious tasks may be accomplished with undivided attention in due course. Perhaps a mix of them is a good strategy and safe to conclude that one cannot succeed, neither without multitasking nor without mindfulness.

Five New Pledges On Diwali

During the week, we are celebrating Diwali festivities. These five days, or even longer, the festival is significant in Indian culture, especially for Gujaratis because the next day is New Year. On the festival of Diwali, we take the new pledge and vow to do better in the coming year. This week also signifies a major conference of world leaders at Glasgow to tackle the climate change issue. Here world leaders have taken a pledge to fight climate change as an urgent threat, by taking credible actions. As an individual and family, let’s take five pledges to change our lifestyle and planet to be more climate-friendly and sustainable.

1. Love your wardrobe: The fast-fashion lifestyle is not climate-friendly. Each piece of clothing in the wardrobe has to be used to its life, not to the changing fashion. Just see how much effort and resources have gone into making that final product. Throwing away a t-shirt or jeans after wearing them twice is not commensurate to the labour and resources used in making them. Why not use them till they last? Why can’t it be a new trend to respect each hour of work that has gone into making them?

2. Eat till the last bite: Waste of food is rampant in modern, especially urban lifestyles. With an increasing number of people moving towards urban centres, more options of fast food and easy delivery, this problem is going to increase. In Indian culture, people worship the food on the plate before having the first bite. This means food is God, and worshipful. Believing in this philosophy and lifestyle, we should be discouraged from wasting any food.

3. Don’t fear losing a race: In lifestyle, career or anything else, do not fear that you will lose if you don’t participate in the rat race. Sometimes it feels that the world is going crazily fast and if we don’t run along, we will be left behind. Don’t come under that pressure of maintaining this race. Go along at your pace that suits your goals, your lifestyle and your health. Everyone has different goals in life to achieve. You don’t need to follow others. So, without fear of losing a race, which does not matter to you, keep a healthy balance.

4. Keep your connections close: Do not keep expanding on your contacts. Rather keep your connections closer to you. It is not about maintaining contact that matters at the end of the day, but actually developing connections, emotional and social, is more important. Maintain those connections which are true and strong relations for you. Do not lose out on them.

5. De-clutter on this Diwali: Every year, near Diwali, people clean their house and tidy it up. They throw away useless stuff or donate them. This makes more space in the house, and also keeps it clean. Similarly, let’s declutter our mind and lifestyle on this Diwali. Let’s throw away harmful and unhealthy habits and thoughts. Maintain only useful and essential ideals in life.

These five pledges are broader. Details you have to decide for yourself, according to your requirement and lifestyle.