here, there & everywhere

“to lead a better life, i need my love to be here. ” – the beatles
do me a kindness, friends, and stop for a second.
stop and think about everything you’re doing as we speak. you’re reading {at least, I hope you are}. 🙂 you could be toggling between tabs and paying for bills, reading work emails or chatting online with friends. there could be music playing….or your sweet doggie’s snoozing at your feet. and while i’d love to believe you’re giving this post all your energy and attention, i know better. you’re multitasking.
peek into my mind and you’ll see the same thing – a dizzying amount of work emails, neglected chores, 30 minute dinner recipes, workout schedules, weekend planning, life dreams and life worries that consume my thoughts at any given second. and as i write this, i keep glancing down at my phone to check/answer work emails, i’m shuffling through my rogue wave pandora radio station and superfun ideas for the hub’s big birthday bash are popping up in my head. OOF.
and – shocker – we’re not alone. for most of our lives, we’ve been juggling to get things done. i mean, multitasking is supposed to be a good thing, right? that’s what the career counselors told me, anyway. i proudly cite that in interviews and on my resume as something i’m supremely awesome at.
{how shameful is this?? – sitting in the sun at outside lands {OK Go was on stage}..and I’M CHECKING MY WORK EMAILS. BAD.}
until…I started wedding planning. i started to notice how the hours and days would just zoom by. and how i tossed and turned at night. and how i was freakin’ exhausted halfway through the day. and i was having trouble remembering things that were said minutes before {bride brain}. and i started to flip the eff out.
so after frantically typing my symptoms into web md and google, i diagnosed myself as a heavy multitasker. and as a result, was experiencing fatigue, tons of stress and made lots of little mistakes. did you know studies showed that people working on a task that were distracted by phone or email lowered their IQ by 10 points? that’s like pulling an all-nighter or smoking two doobies. yep, two doobies. all from multitasking.
wait – now multitasking is bad?? are you kidding me?
tired, losing my mind and pissed, i decided to take the sage advice from this thought provoking article and try NOT to multitask for a few days. so, for a gal who’s juggled most of her life, what does that even look like?
* i went off the grid and turned off my phone when i got home and had dinner with the hubs and while we hung out.
* i closed my office door and shut down my email/IM when i was focusing on a project at work.
* i resisted having more than one website tab open at any given time {dude, that was HARD}.
* when I walked napoleon in the park, i left my phone at home.
* and i put on my addidas superstar pants, sneaks, favorite tee and dragged my workout-deprived body to hip hop class 2x a week, because it’s something that i love and missed…a lot.
so was i magically healed? kinda. 🙂
work: that week, i finished those projects within 2 hours instead of taking 2 or more days. and i had time to check it over for mistakes and make it even better. there was no last minute panic, since i completed it 1 1/2 days before i usually do. and those emails? all 200 of them were there waiting for me, but rome wasn’t burning. and everything was answered and all was good in the world.
life: those days with rob and nap were the sunniest moments and just what the doctor ordered. the hubs was thrilled he didn’t have to share me with my blackberry {normally, he would – and rightly so – get super pissed if i was being rude and lame when checking my phone for work emails while we were hanging out. bad sylvie, i know}. i shut out the noise in my head and just listened. even nap was smiling {no joke!}. the minutes went by slower, the sky seemed brighter, my peoples were happier and i was so relaxed.
{sylvie off the grid = happy guys!}
self: and even though it was a PITA to drive across town and *almost* lose my mind trying to find parking in the heart of the mission district, channeling my inner honey daniels and booty shakin’ for 90 minutes was AMAZING. my body was battered but my soul thanked me. and now, there’s a permanent “HIP HOP DANCE CLASS” slot on my weekly calendar. c’mon SF friends! you know you wanna booty shake with me! 😉
{holler! special prize and mad props for whoever can find yours truly in this photo…that i can’t believe i’m posting here.}
and now….
the sparkle in my eye is back, my blood pressure is lower and i don’t feel like i have dementia. but, there will be crazy days where i’m gonna have the urge to juggle. checking my work email is a bad habit that i’m trying so hard to resist. and i’m obsessed with having 5 tabs open on my browser – just because. but now, i’m making the effort to be present in the moment, no matter where i am. trying to do seven gabillion things at once left my life wildly out of balance, which I didn’t realize until i started to compartmentalize my time and go off the grid. so, i try and keep this at the forefront of my mind. a little reminder always helps:
{source: ciara bird}
so for all of us who feel like they’re struggling to keep their head above water and beg for more hours in the day – do yourself a kindness…and slow your roll.
go off the grid when you have some serious projects to tackle and when your favorite peoples want to be with you. resist – it’s gonna be hard! – the urges to switch to another task. And make time, every week, for some “good for the soul” time. this is the stuff you love to do but claim you never have enough time. but guess what – we all have the time. squint, look a little deeper and i promise you’ll find it. so block that hour off in your calendar, leave your phone, and just enjoy yourself. 🙂 you deserve it.
raise your hand if you’re tired of juggling! and what is that thing you love to do but haven’t had time – until now – to do it? i’d love to hear all about it. 🙂
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friends, your sweet thoughts and inspiring comments are the bright spot of my day. please make the jump, hang out and share what’s on your mind. 🙂

Leave a Comment


  1. Very nice, thanks for sharing.

    Posted 9.13.11 Reply
  2. This is damn fantastic. I’m only moderately ashamed of the 6 open tabs in my SECOND Firefox window, which is only non-work related tabs…But I am good about putting work away once I get home (and that includes blogging) at night and spending real time with John and with myself. Multitasking is great when you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, but not all that good for your soul.

    Posted 9.12.11 Reply
  3. J* wrote:

    It resonates well with my soul. Hubs said that I’m so guilty of being on the grid checking facebook. FB is a way for me to unwind and reconnect with family and friends miles away. Thankfully, I don’t have to take work home with me. As a working mom, gotta juggle and prioritize. For me, what I need to do is get more physical activity (besides sexercise) and journalling. Again, thanks for sharing my kindred cousin. And please keep them coming:)

    Posted 9.11.11 Reply
  4. Mandy wrote:

    Great post! I’m pretty bad about this…especially when it comes to my google reader. If there’s a new post, I feel like I have to read it RIGHT NOW. Hubs is bad about being on his phone. It’s good to kind of chill out and relax while reading the blogs I love sometimes, but I probably do it waaay too often. Good for you for unplugging and getting more relaxation in!

    Posted 9.11.11 Reply
  5. I actually LOVE this post & I do the same thing. I’m still in school + doing 3 internships and I’m ALWAYS checking emails or rewriting my to do list. I can’t imagine what I’ll be like when I have an actual job… *shudder* I love this though. It’s great that you were able to disconnect 🙂 Have a good weekend!

    Posted 9.10.11 Reply
  6. Julia Kay wrote:

    omg. amen! i seriously was like, “yup, that’s me!” and “oh yes, i do that too…” you rock. and i’m trying it…

    Posted 9.10.11 Reply