Joyful Single-Tasking

Dear friends, I'm so glad to find you here today!

I don't know about you, but I've always thought I was a fairly good multi-tasker.  I could take care of all kinds of business lobbed at me in short order.  Be fully involved in ministry 24/7.  Whip up a three course meal without breaking a sweat.  Bob from one thought process to the next on a moment's notice without shifting gears.  

I don't know if it's part of the aging process or technology's steady over-stimulation.  Maybe something to do with the impact of this life-altering covid era or side effects of medication.  Whatever ... this year has found me aimlessly drifting through too many days and not accomplishing a whole lot.  And that began to really bug me.

Fast forward to the final months of 2021 and the stark realization that I'm in no way an accomplished multi-tasker {if I ever was}.  I am now a self-proclaimed single-tasker.

I'm so done with nonchalantly juggling a bunch of random balls in the air. 

I'm giving myself full permission to focus on one task at a time.  One person at a time.  One project at a time.  One book at a time.  One day at a time.  As much as is humanly possible. 

Focusing on more than one task at a time, repeatedly switching back and forth between two or more tasks, or focusing on many things in a short period of time can all be considered 'multitasking' and they can all leave you less focused and efficient than you may think.  

This is because it takes time for your mind to adjust to a shift in focus; each time you switch your focus, you are creating another need for your mind to re-focus, and this can drain you of time and energy.  

It can also mean that when you multitask between more than one activity that requires thought or focus, it takes longer than it would have taken if you had focused on each task individually.


For me, single-tasking is about shedding some kind of mantle of do-it-all perfection.  Giving myself grace.  Removing the pressure to check off everything on the endless to-do list.  It allows me to complete tasks or small projects in their entirety without a bunch of loose ends all over the place.  To care for myself more mindfully.

It's also about creating plenty of respectful space for the person I'm with ... and 'purposing in my heart' to continue to serve others full-heartedly and 'not reluctantly or under compulsion' {2 Corinthians 9:7}.

This fresh perspective has been stunning in its simplicity and freeing in its impact.  

A simple 1-2-3 list keeps me focused.  My brain is clearer, my spirit calmer, and my body a bit more energetic.  I do a whole lot less wandering through my days and find myself able to accomplish more.  I'm sleeping better and eating healthier.  Not to mention craving the outdoors with its sights and scents and nature's songs. 

I'm talking less stress, more creativity, and finding delight in being absorbed in what's right in front of me.  Bonus points for launching into an organizing binge that's hitting every corner of my house.  More purposeful online activity when I actually get there.  Ramping up to co-create a care-giving ministry at church.

And a continued commitment to writing and nurturing online community with you, my treasured friends.

In a spiritual sense, it's kind of like 'fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.' 
{2 Corinthians 10:5, MSG}

This altered way of doing life is a work in progress, but I feel like I'm headed in the right direction for this next season.  I feel His pleasure. 

Up next?  

I'll share a simple, practical key that opens the door to joyful single-tasking.  You'll be surprised at how doable and effective it can be.  Meanwhile, I'd be fascinated to hear your insights on what works for you when it comes to handling life's multiple demands and unexpected challenges ...


visiting with