Lent, Productivity and Single Tasking

Lent comes from a Middle English word meaning "lengthen of days" and relates to many Christians who take the 40 days before Easter for prayer and fasting.  While most years I give something up, this year I've decided to take another direction.

I made this decision after some reflection.  The past six months have been very full and the past three weeks, frenetic.  The early morning meetings and late night events have left me sapped for energy.  As I approached Lent, my desire to give something up or do one more thing really felt off.

I've opted for something totally different- single tasking.  One description that I like is from Leo from Zen Habits who puts it this way,

"Multi-tasking leads to a lot of switching and distractions and stress. Keep things simple, focused and effective by single-tasking. Focus on one task until it’s done, then move to the next."

I violate the Law of Single Tasking all the time and I imagine that you might too.  Often, when I'm watching TV, my laptop is right next to me.  When I'm driving to work, I'm fielding calls and listening to podcasts.  Some of this is simply my DNA- it's not easy for me to relax but that's no excuse and Lent is my opportunity to focus on one thing at a time.

I've taken evening downtime more seriously and I've deleted a ton of apps from my iPhone.  I'm trying harder to focus on doing just one thing at a time.  My stress has dipped a little and my ability to focus seems to be growing.

What are you planning for Lent?  Maybe this is the season to single task.

For more information on this powerful concept, check out these helpful posts:

*Photo by Thomas Hawk