Recently I read an article about multitasking. In a study at Harvard Law, some of Harvard's most highly performing students were tested doing focused work and then switching to multitasking. The results stated that the intelligence level of these brilliant people dropped to that of a 6-year old, when performing more than one task at a time.
In this age of achievement, multi-tasking is regarded as a highly desirable skill, although clearly, not more things get done, and they are not getting done more perfectly.
Also, when we are so focused on achievement and outcome, how can we enjoy the process? As a culture, most of our time is spent on focusing on the future, not the here and now. What if each moment were cherished for its own merit instead of the necessary evil to get where we want to go?
This last weekend, in the midst of 4 days of sanding, priming, sanding, painting, sanding painting ..., I realized that if I were only going to enjoy the finished products of our beautifully painted kitchen cabinets, I would be wasting 4 long days of my life.
In Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dan Milman writes, "the only time is now and the only place is here". If we learn to be conscious and present in every moment, there is always the opportunity to find something of beauty, enjoyment or even just purpose in whatever we are doing. "There are no wasted moments".
While sanding will never become my favorite occupation, I could enjoy it as part of the process that made my vision (of beautifully painted cabinets) a reality. I discovered the tactile satisfaction of surfaces changing and the knowledge that I had created the right circumstances for the paint sticking. As simple as that.
Remember to enjoy the ride!