Be Here Now.
I can confidently say that at least 99% of us attempt at doing 2 (or more) things at once, including myself. The 1% of us who do not attempt to do multiple things at once are those who have actually achieved being fully present in every moment, as my friend Tolle would have put it. The 99% of us who are not fully present claim to be multi-taskers. But, as one of my mentors says, “there is no such thing as multitasking”. If you are multitasking, you’re half-assing whatever you’re doing and not giving it your all.
I’ve come to a point in my life where I question the purpose of everything and only do something with intention. So, if I am doing something with an actual purpose, I sure as hell do not want to half-ass it, because at the end of the day, everything I’m saying, doing, and working on reflects the type of person I am. In a fast-paced society and location like Southern California, it always seems as if there is never enough time to single-task everything on our to-do lists. And it is for this exact reason that we have gotten so comfortable with multitasking (half-assing) everything.
Some may think that it’s okay to multitask with their personal responsibilities while putting their undivided attention into homework and/or work. However, it’s actually those personal responsibilities and leisures that are the most important to be fully present in. When we do try to do more things at once, we unconsciously build up more stress and anxiety since we are trying to tackle multiple things at once. In other words, our cognitive development is not advanced enough (and is not meant) to be able to enjoy a meal, while watching Netflix, while texting someone, and worrying about what we have to do the next day.
“Be here now” is a well known quote by an amazing author, influencer, and spiritualist named Eckhart Tolle. And if you would like to actually learn the spiritual meaning and get the bigger picture of that quote, I highly recommend reading Tolle’s book, The Power of Now.
But, to put it simply and in more literal terms, I’ll go ahead and call it “single-tasking your life.”
Next time you watch your show on Netflix, isolate yourself and put your phone and food away. Next time you eat a meal, put all your electronics away and chew each bite you take 5 times. Next time you have a conversation with a parent (or friend), face them while talking and make eye contact. And, next time you listen to a song, put your headphones on and close your eyes.
But why….what is the benefit in single-tasking your life? Why should we be here now?
To give you a direct and obvious correlation,
Watching something without distractions will allow you to fully grasp, hear, and understand everything being said, and possibly allow you to learn something new.
Eating without distractions allows you to chew every bite you take multiple times, and has shown serious health benefits since you are able to properly digest and be conscious of portion size, instead of eating blindly (plus, if your food is good, you get to actually enjoy the taste).
Showing your undivided attention and making eye contact with someone who is talking to you speaks many more volumes than simply talking. You will notice an immediate difference with those you are talking to when you actually engage and show them you care about what they’re saying.
Listening to a song is a whole different world when you zone out and are able to hear every note through your headphones, as opposed to managing other tasks with music playing in the background.
If this isn’t enough to convince you to be here now, I’ll take it back to square one: Doing everything with intention and purpose (and avoiding half-assing things).
When you view anything you do with intention and question the purpose, you will no longer watch Netflix just because you feel lazy. You will no longer eat just because you feel like it. You will no longer have a conversation with someone just because you are obligated to. And you will no longer listen to a song just because you need noise to fill up the silence.
Of course, intention and purpose differs for everyone. Yet, intention and purpose should be there nevertheless.
Be here now.