Give undivided attention to each task on your to-do list and experience the satisfaction of intentional connection to your work and all that is a part of each task. It’s your life and it is important to enjoy the process.
Living with roommates, family, neighbors requires a bit of organization. Working with a team, nailing the promotion, closing the sale — the workplace encompasses the same kind of task work to achieve greater goals when others are relying on you. Elevating the experience of a simple task list can help give more grounding to your work. I have offered laser coaching to clients who struggle with ADHD and simple boredom in the mundane task-ing that a dynamic life requires.
We have a myriad of technology distractions to sweep us away while we are doing mundane tasks. I am a lover of podcasts and often dive into self development episodes while I am driving from one place to another. I enjoy my time commuting while I can glean some new tips and hints for how to uplift my life. It feels nice. But I am not focused.
Focus is a trait that is underdeveloped in the life of organizing everything online. These days, we need to allocate time to paying bills online, scheduling and organizing doctor appointments, as well as the other fun distractions of connecting with old friends and shopping.
On tasking at home or at work, I find that bringing concentrated focus to my work helps bring depth and connection to my surroundings and the people involved in them.
However, the question remains — how to focus on daily tasks?
“When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.”James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
As James Clear describes here, develop a systematic way of completing tasks. Completing one task at hand and enjoying the process helps to fulfill my need of being productive and also gives measurable satisfaction to my day’s work. Satisfaction in my experience is really the biggest reason I would want to finish something as quickly as possible is because I may think the task is boring, simple, or even beneath my skill set.
The latter brings awareness that we may spend more time judging the task at hand than is even required to completing the task. Giving each task focus may surprise you at how little time the tasking may take. This is even true of larger projects.
I have been in leadership for fundraising in organizations. I have found it to be deeply satisfying to dig into a fundraising project, as the layers of work compound to create a highly satisfying event when done well. The minutiae of fundraising activities include a mundane list of mail merge, phone calls, or chatting people up that most people do not want to invite into their lives.
However, I happen to find the process of breaking down the need and how we achieve and fulfill a monetary goal to be an interesting process. It makes me happy to create a process for this kind of complicated work. I have experienced much happiness in running fundraising events for my children’s school for the past many years. Most people thought I was crazy for taking on this level of volunteer work. However, I found it satisfying to fulfill the skillset of developing processes and team building.
Allocating time for concentration is the best tip for completing daily tasks.
Working in deep breathing at the same time will offer deeper focus and infuse the body with higher levels of oxygen. In Sanskrit, concentration with deep breathing is known as dharana (धारणा). This is a term best used for yoga, but can be applied to completing daily work or home tasks. Dharana was introduced to me in classes of yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda.
I now teach these lessons of dharana and find that my students enjoy this pleasurable idea of focusing on the task and connecting deeply with it. In yoga, we find that we rely on the action of concentration to foster a training of the mind. The concentration is actually a strengthening of the mind and brings more focus as you develop the “muscle” of concentration: the brain.
“Your executive function peaks alongside other brain functions in your early 20s and then gradually diminishes over time.”Dr. Salinas, Focus On Concentration
Concentration and mindfulness create a support to our brains as we age. In this Harvard Health article, we discover the connections to thoughtful activities and preserving our ability to focus and concentrate. The best rule of thumb is to intentionally develop activities of concentration. Adding this kind of concentrated thought to your list of tasks can double up in your efficiency to preserve your brain’s capacity for focused tasks as you age and grow older.
Minimizing distractions while you are creating a spreadsheet at work or washing up the dishes at home actually helps the way your brain works for longevity. Ticking off the to-dos while you enrich your brain’s function may be the most satisfying bonus in the part of the process of task-ing!