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Adulting: What Being Sleepy Taught Me....

I mention in a previous blog entry that my psychiatrist issued me a challenge to stop napping. My current medicine (albeit helpful) was making me sleepy, and I would happily snooze for a few hours, then have a restless night. But that cycle needed to end.

So I had to discipline myself; this was not easy because I was so physically tired from both the medicine and lack of sleep. I felt such a heaviness in my body. It was like being really HANGRY, but instead of diving into the fridge, I wanted to dive into my blankets. And boy did those blankets look extra soft.

So, I had to learn to just move even if it was sluggishly. To help myself get through those hours before bedtime, I would slow my pace. Literally. Even my walking up the stairs, I let myself move in my dreamlike state: just lift one leg at a time, Gina. I was gentle with myself, and I was single tasking because I had to. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish much at all.

What I didn’t expect was how much I liked the feeling of slowing down in order to better care for myself.

Why did I have to wait until I was forced by my doctor to stop rushing and really enjoy my life? I can still enjoy, even dance through life, I just need a slower tune. And monotasking was helping me do it. An article on by Samira Far only encouraged me further:

When you multitask, you are not actually doing multiple things at once. Instead your brain is rapidly shifting attention sequentially between each of the activities you are attempting. This is known as "task-switching" and it is the death of productivity. Although each of these episodes occurs within a fraction of a second, research shows that these episodes can decrease productivity by 40%.

It amazes me to think that I might have been more productive in my sleepy state, simply because I was forced to focus on each activity at a time. But sometimes we learn life’s lessons in weird ways.

Would I now describe myself as someone who continually single tasks? That would be a giant (but honest) NO. However, I now have more motivation to do so. And I’m starting to tear down the lie that I’ve told myself for years: I need to multitask to better enjoy my life.

According to Dr. Bryan Adibe, it requires a shift in thinking:

That is at the core of mono-tasking - it is about rethinking the way we work so that we can more meaningfully engage with our environment.

And isn’t that what most of us desire: to meaningfully engage with our environment?

I know I sure do.


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