Sandi Asker: The Unitasker

I had a session with my therapist in Duluth today – ON LINE. I am so glad for the opportunity to connect with some of my Duluth people this past week on line. The Y is streaming workouts with our favorite personal trainer (and her daughter) and my mental health experts (MAP) are all adjusting to the times, making a way for me to reconnect with people who have known me for a long time.

After a time of my sharing how I am doing in this season (which has not been super the last week), my counselor used the word “unitasking.”

“Wait, what did you just say?!” I asked

“Unitasking.”

“Is that even a word?!”

“It is my word,” she said confidently.

“Have you ever shared that with anyone?”

“I have maybe said it to my husband, or my buddies.” She said buddies. This made me giggle a little.

I literally had to stop and think about this: unitasking. Doing one thing at a time. Have I ever been challenged with such a thought?!

It sounds like a Superhero: the Unitasker!

Seriously, for the next minute, try to do one thing. Breathe. Sing a song. Wipe a toilet. Listen to your kid. Drive. Take a photo of the trees budding.

This is me stretching. I have learned to embrace the stretching/Yoga/less cardio workouts these days. Doing ONE thing at a time – a stretch.

Do. One. Thing.

I am from a long line of multi-taskers,* fully productive members of society. My dad jokes that my mom reads a book, knits a sweater, watches the basketball game and talks on the phone all at the same time.

I regularly make dinner, send emails, talk with my kids, clean up the kitchen, do the dishes and prep tomorrow’s meal at the same time.

What a gift, in this season, if I could learn to focus on one thing at a time.

I could focus on the people on Zoom I am about to pray with (which meant halting the editing on this blog and saving it for later).

I could simply attend the meeting I have with 3 other people.

I could avoid my phone and texts that jump across the screen during those meetings.

I could avoid the news during that phone call.

I could avoid the emails that pop up while I lead a small group.

I could avoid temptations to go 1,000 directions as I try to lead and care for people who have taken the time to show up to whatever it is I am leading.

Instead, unitasking, I could tackle the day one thing at a time, with a spoonful of sugar…

Ok, it was might sound a little unrealistic in this world of on line meetings, news changing every 2 hours, kids needing school help, another meal needing a prep and another meal needing to be cleaned up.

And maybe some of you have new babies, new puppies, have great financial strain and have zero minutes of peace… but stick with me.

I want to try it. I need to try something new. What I was doing was not working. Maybe you could start doing 2-3 things at once and start cutting back?

(Seriously this just happened as I edited: Elam (middle son) came to me and asked “Mom, are you working right now on something important?” “I am writing a blog so not super important.” “Then can you cut me an apple?”

Miracles happen EVERY DAY. He asked me so nicely I did not mind taking a minute and cutting that apple.)

Help your kid with their school work.

Focus on your Zoom meeting.

Make dinner.

Read a book.

Check the news.

Get off the phone and play a game with someone.

Toss the baseball one more time even though your previously broken arm hates it but the sunshine makes it so worth it. And you need to move your body (motion is lotion, Cindi).

Do one thing at a time today. See what happens. Then tell me about it.

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*True Confessions: this was first typed as “multi-askers.” We do also ask a LOT of questions around here. In fact, if we ever launch a podcast, I have considered calling it “Asker and Ask Him.”

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