Shelley’s Monthly Mindfulness Moment: How Multitasking Can Ruin Your Day at the Touch of a Button

Have you ever had one of those moments when you wished “If only I just hadn’t pushed that button?”

It all started out innocently enough.  A colleague sent me an email to register for a new free referral database so we could trade referrals.  Good idea I thought, and clicked on the link.  I filled in my info and set up an account.  Easy peasy.  Then I saw a notice for a way to easily add contacts to the referral system through uploading a linkedin file.  It looked simple enough.

It was right before lunch and I had an appointment to get to and time was running short.  My thoughts were occupied with the lunch meeting, what I was going to say to my potential client, which route I would take to get to the restaurant, what I would order when I got there.  I also had a number of things open on my desktop, emails that needed sending, tasks that still needed to be completed…

Before I even realized what I had done, I saw a screen pop up that said “Invitation sent to 756 contacts.”

Ummm, say what???  And then the realization:  I inadvertently emailed my entire linkedin contact list.  Every single person that I’m connected to.  EVERY single one.  (sorry if you’re one of my contacts who happens to be reading this…)

What happened next was that horrible sinking feeling, you know, the one you get when you start to panic?  The one that’s normally accompanied by thoughts of “My god, I really am the biggest doofus ever!” or “What are people going to think of me???”

It was these thoughts that occupied me as I ran down my stairs in a haze, late for my lunch meeting now.  I heard a very loud yelp as hit the bottom of the staircase.  In my haze I had failed to notice my cat Bijoux lying on the stairs and had inadvertently stepped on her paw.   After one emergency trip to the vet and $150 later Bijoux is now fine I’m glad to report.

So what is the moral of this fun-filled story?  FOCUS ON ONE THING AT A TIME.  I know this.  I preach this as a Mindfulness trainer by the way.  I go to great lengths to aid my focus by turning off email notifications, closing outlook during meetings so I won’t look at emails or get distracted, I even recently took facebook off my phone.  But then again we all have moments where we don’t always practice what we preach.  These days with technology being as quick as it is, a lack of focus can have a very big impact with just one push of a button.

When has a small lack of focus caused a big impact for you?  And what did you learn from the experience?


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