When doing too much actually yields very little

July 2, 2015

Dear Max

The other day I called out for not concentrating on something I should have been concentrating on, and I felt rotten about being distracted, and not taking my task at hand more seriously.

It triggered a larger thought process, about how often I’m actually present, and how often I’m thinking of my next sentence, ticking off my next to-do item, or responding to emails as quickly as possible lest things pile up and I get panicked, or drop balls.

I’m certain I’m not the first person ever to be contemplating this, and I’m certain that this isn’t something that a bit of thought will solve, or as they say, make me “more present”. But it’s worth thinking about, and trying earnestly to change, because my mind is sometimes all over the show, and yet nowhere. The worst is, I’m often not aware of what I’m doing. I’m often emailing/messaging/social media’ing in mid conversation or activity, not necessarily because I’m bored, but because I like doing lots of things, and I *try* to be as efficient as possible.

As any good Buddhist will tell you, I’m missing out on the now and the present – whether it’s messages in a meeting, you showing me a cool Lego online, or a damn good conversation or insight.

It’s all very easy to say “I’m going to be more present”, but it’s going to take a lot of mindfulness and concentration to actually be mindful and concentrating. For example, while writing this blog post, I’ve been on Pinterest, loaded the dishwasher, tweeted, and created another wedding dress folder after looking at about eight Google pages of “A-line wedding dresses” and “wedding dresses that don’t look like wedding dresses”. BUT, this is my leisure time so this to and fro’ing doesn’t bother me too much.

So, I’m working on it. I realise I miss out on some good stuff with you too while I’m multitasking, and that’s not great – I suspect I’m missing out more than you are.

Ironically, while multitasking during this post, though I was trying to find a cool mantra to end off with, so that’s kinda okay, I found this:

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 11.03.58 PM


I can’t imagine how stretched and full and demanding your life will be one day, but I hope you’re not always juggling three cellphones, talking to your watch, and writing an app (or who knows what?) while trying to be present. I’m hoping I can teach you better.





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  • MeeA

    HUGEST congratulations on your happy news! Also, yes – being someplace other than present in the moment can have huge consequences on so many levels. So many things can go awry or opportunities be missed because of it. And it is a big part of why so many of us feel “disconnected” from our lives.

    July 2, 2015 at 11:34 am Reply
  • Bronwynne

    I like this. Been having similar thoughts about focusing on what really matters. It’s hard!

    July 2, 2015 at 3:25 pm Reply
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