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Being in the Moment with Wholeness of Heart and Mind:
Multi-Tasking — What You Can and Can't Do!

hello dr matt,

My name is Saad.
Age is 23 and single
City: lahore, Province: punjab, Country: pakistan

Situation: I'm the student of MBA in Human resource management. My issue is relating to my focus about my objectives and goals. I'm not succeeding in getting focus on one thing. Meaning, at one time, i try to work on multiple tasks and ultimately loses my focus. at other times, i try to do different things, and  i keep on thinking about multiple goals, which i want to achieve; in doing this, often i lose control of my present work too. because i intend to achieve multiple things, which affect my performance.

Please suggest the suitable solution so that i be helpful for achieving healthy results.

Related Articles: Ontological Assumptions: Why Do I Exist? What is the Purpose of Life?

Hello Saad:

Living Life joyfully and purposefully involves Being in the Moment: Being where you are, and fully Doing what you are Doing. If you can't give your Whole Self to a task, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place!

Being in the Moment means . . . giving all your attention and effort to one single task at a time. Giving all means . . . giving your heart, might, mind, strength, and soul -- giving a complete and whole effort with nothing held back.

There are some things done in this life that are not worthy of "whole" effort. So you must begin with a worthy goal from the start. If you don't begin right, it's like climbing a ladder that leans against a WRONG WALL -- no matter how high you climb, your eventual destination will be OFF.

It is easy for me to say: Be in the Moment - Be where your are - Give your Whole Self to Doing what you are Doing Presently. But this does not mean you can do it, simply because you read the words.

The KEY to giving a Whole Effort and The KEY to undivided clarity of Mind, is first having undivided and whole harmony of Heart. You cannot be Right in the Head, if you're not Right in your Heart.

"Heart" is a metaphor that refers to your Core, . . . your Center: It refers to Spiritual Harmony, which involves being True to your own Intuitions of Truth. So your "psychological issue" is really a "spiritual issue" at the foundation. Again, if you don't get your Heart right, you cannot get your Head right.

If you wish to give a whole and undivided focus upon one single task, without distractions of thinking about multiple tasks, . . . you must first lean your ladder against the RIGHT WALL; you must begin with Harmony of Heart — you must be True to your own Intuitions of Truth.

If you fail to do this, Life will not flow. Here are some ideas about Multi-Tasking (doing two or more tasks at the same time -- as opposed to having Multiple Task that you do one at a time):

* Human Beings CAN do TWO Mechanical Activities at Once:
           A person can Peel Potatoes while Rocking in a Rocking Chair.

* Human Being CAN also do ONE Meaningful Activity while doing ONE Mechanical Activity:
           A person can TALK to a Friend and Go for a Walk at the same time.

A "Meaningful Activity" requires a person to focus upon correct perceptions and interpretations. A "Meaningful Activity" is only "Full of Meaning" when perceptions, interpretations, and understanding are complete and correct.

* Human Beings CANNOT effectively Do TWO Meaningful Activities at ONCE — although some people falsely assume they can.

Talking to a Friend is a "Meaningful Activity." Reading a Magazine is a "Meaningful Activity."

Because Meaningful Activities involve our abilities to effectively engage perceptions and interpretations, when a person does NOT give Whole Attention to these moments, then correct translations and complete understanding are not achieved.

For example, you cannot effectively read a magazine AND converse with a friend AT THE SAME TIME. You will not be able to give your WHOLE SELF to both activities in a SINGLE MOMENT.

It is important to remember that the Act of Loving Others requires giving your Whole Self — willingly and intentionally. To give half of yourself, is to be Half-Hearted. And a Half-Hearted effort is NOT a Loving effort. The Highest expression of Love involves giving your whole self in the moment: Heart, Might, Mind, Strength, and Soul.

So if you're going to read a magazine article in the presence of a friend, do not pretend that you are paying attention your friend. Instead, give your whole self to reading the magazine article, and then afterwards, give your whole self to conversing with your friend: You cannot effectively do these TWO activities at ONCE.

But by mutual agreement, you and a friend can both read magazine articles with the intent to spontaneously share interesting ideas AS they are read in the magazine. This Activity of Sharing is its own unique Activity, and you can give your whole self to it: It involves a compete STOPPING of reading the magazine article whenever Sharing happens, and a complete STOPPING of sharing whenever Reading the Magazine happens.

This Magazine Reading / Sharing Activity must occur by prior agreement, because when it does not THEN if one person tries to spontaneously share, the other person might be IN HIS HEAD THINKING "can't she see I'm reading a magazine article." Thus whole focus is NOT given to the sharer, and what is being shared is NOT fully understood.

* Some Mechanical Activities require more Mind-Focus than others.

For example, if you're peeling potatoes with a knife, and you put TOO MUCH attention upon, for example, listening to a Radio Program (a Meaningful Activity requiring interpretation), you just might cut yourself.

When you give full attention to listening to, and understanding the content of, a Radio Program, some mechanical activities may not be done as well as they might. But here's a multi-task that can be done with NO problems:

Talking to a friend on a Cell Phone AND Rocking in a Rocking Chair! These TWO activities can be done with NO difficulties, because even if you fail to Rock just right, there are NO negative consequences.

In contrast, Talking to a friend on a Cell Phone AND Walking across a Busy Intersection.
Here, what is normally just a "mechanical activity" (Walking) becomes "meaningful activity" because you must "perceive and interpret" traffic conditions in order to cross the street safely.

Living Life in a joyful and purposeful way means Being in the Moment and Giving Whole Effort to what you are Doing, when you are Doing it. Whole Effort means giving Heart, Might, Mind, Strength, and Soul to a particular project in the moment. At the Foundation of every Whole Effort is having one's Heart right — Being in Harmony with one's own Intuitions of Heart.

Having Harmony of Heart means seeing Life in terms of a Grand Perspective, a view that sees the over-arching purpose for human existence.

On the one hand, if you assume that You and I are the offspring of Big Bang and Evolution, thus when we die, we enter into a dark, breathless sleep, never to wake again — if this is the reality of your existence, THEN what does it matter if you achieve focus and reach your career goals? Why does anything matter?

On the other hand, if there is a Supreme Being who has created you and I, and that Creator has outlined a Purpose for our mortal existence, as well a Purpose for Life beyond mortality, THEN we should be focused upon discovering the Creator's Outline for Existence.

The Journey

For this is the Journey that men make:
To find themselves. If they fail in this, it matters little
whatever else they may achieve: Money, Fame, Revenge.
When they end the Journey, they can put them all into
a bin marked “ashes.” They mean nothing.
But if one has found that he has within him
a divine soul, if he has discovered the principles
upon which the fulfillment of that soul is based, and
if he implements those principles, then he has a mansion
within which he can live with dignity
and joy each day of his life.
(Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page vi).


Matt Moody, Ph.D.
Social Psychologist

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