Last week I was in the checkout line at the local health food store. It’s not unusual to run into old friends. I hadn’t seen Oscar in some time. In the midst of a catch-up conversation he attempted to pay his bill.  After fumbling around, he laughed and said I better uni-task. So that got me thinking. Multitasking has become pandemic.

We want to do it all and have a concern that we might be missing out on something—that call or message that pertains to a different reality than the one we are engaged in at the present moment.  We pay a price for these distractions.  In the process we lose our ability to really get into something and know it well.  Rather than being in the moment with what we are doing, we are already thinking about something else.  Is that something else more important than what we are doing now? And of course the pattern continues. We don’t really commit to being fully present.  We don’t commit to just being. Because of this our experience of what’s possible is limited. We never do reach our full potential!

The concern that we will miss out keeps most of us, if not all of us, clued to the latest technological device. As soon as we see or hear a signal that we have an incoming message, we interrupt what we are doing to notice the nature of that incoming message. Very rarely is it something important that has to be handled in the moment.

The bigger price we pay is that the flow of our conversation has been interrupted.  None of us like to be interrupted when in the presence of another.  In the current scenario we are being interrupted essentially by a computer. The energy changes and the connection has been lost.  Sure we have more information at our fingertips, but we’ve replaced intimacy with information. Worrying about missing out on something actually will lead to a bigger loss. Which is missing out on intimately connecting with others.

It also neglects the importance of the person with whom we are interacting and in the process ourselves.  We have allowed our lives to be programmed by computers.  It raises the question as to how much free will we really have.
It’s also symptomatic of a bigger problem.  Our concern about external events gets in the way of our being in the moment.

I’m often asked what I think are the main concerns that people experience. Perhaps the biggest concern is how to make peace with an uncertain future. Our challenge is to develop a trust that if we live totally in the present that the uncertainty we have about the future will unfold the way it should. Our part is to be 100% committed to whatever we are engaged in. It doesn’t mean to be in denial of some of the problems that we all experience individually and collectively.  But when we approach these concerns with 100% focus and effort, then we begin to discover solutions to problems that previously were thought to be insoluble.

Intellect and information are extremely important, but by themselves are not enough. What has been lost is the ability to connect with others and to work together. It’s difficult to connect with someone when you are not being in the moment with them and truly listening to what their concerns are.  You can’t truly get them when you are multitasking.

Yes we are curious and have a desire to know. Learn to trust that for one precious moment it’s all going to work out.  For that one moment just be. Try it for ten minutes. Just be and give your concerns a holiday. They don’t need you all of the time. That holiday includes taking a vacation from your smart phone.

Living in the moment and being present is an art form that can be cultivated.  The ones that have mastered it have a presence about them. They are connected to the source of their personal power and all that is and has always been.

Meditation in the morning is an essential practice to cultivate in this rapidly changing world.  It’s the first step toward becoming a master uni-tasker.

You know I love to hear from you. Let me know what you have discovered. Please feel free to pass this letter onto those in your circle.

Journey ON


Author's Bio: 

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. A former trial attorney and musician for 30 years, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. In his former career he was covered by The New York Times, Rolling Stone Magazine, Boston Globe and The San Francisco Chronicle.

He is the author of Dancing on the River: Navigating Life’s Changes. Most recently he has written Discover the Leader Within.