Time out.

multitasking at the salonLast week we finally got our apartment unpacked, decorated and it looks like a home. No more frames lining along the wall, no more rooms without curtains. We celebrated by calling Sikander’s entire class for dinner. The day after hosting 17 people to dinner, was spent in bringing the house back in order and after that I decided it was time for a day off from home. A day to pamper myself. It had been so long since I spent a day in the salon. Most of my visits had been short and quick. But now I was looking forward to spending a few soothing hours and I got myself an appointment for waxing, threading, manicure, pedicure, hair massage and a haircut. A fresher look to enjoy the summer :).

I arrive dot on time for my appointment only to find I need to wait for 10 mins. That’s fine, I thought. Anyway they take me in after 20 minutes. I had pictured a complete relaxing day with me reading the latest cosmopolitan and someone doing my pedicure.. or giving me a head massage. However, I wasn’t prepared for someone doing threading while I my legs are being waxed; or for a pedicure and hair cut simultaneously. They tried to club together as many things they could. I don’t know if they thought I didn’t have time or possibly they didn’t have time. I did come out with a nice haircut and perfect nails etc etc .. but I was more tired than rejuvenated and just wanted to hit home and ‘relax’.

While coming back my mind was occupied with what to buy, what to cook, calls to make… I was busy making my “To Do” list. It’s amazing how we multitask all the time. It’s become a habit. In fact most times we don’t even realise. I check my emails while having breakfast, I’m on the phone during grocery shopping, I listen to my ipod on the way to and from anywhere, I’m chatting with a friend while I write this entry on my blog! (Well I closed the chat window now). Our mind is always occupied with more than one thing. We are under the impression that multitasking saves time. It allows us to do more because we can pack a lot of activities into the same amount of time. While coming back from work, we are already making a list of things to do tomorrow, or thinking about how did the morning presentation go. My dad had his own business until sometime back and he always discouraged me and my sister to go that way. “Having your own business means working 24X7, 7 days a week”, he said. Is it really so difficult to shut things out, to concentrate on just the task at hand. To not think about work when at home and vice-versa? Is it very difficult to just look outside and enjoy the passing scene than think about some other job while travelling? Can we not give our minds a rest, stop trying to be at two places at the same time? Or do we really need to sign up for an expensive workshop to achieve that? Can meditation be achieved only by shutting eyes, sitting in a specific posture, at a specific time and in a specific place?

I attended some Yoga sessions long time back and I am not saying that they don’t help. They do. The external stimulants like music, lightening and the closed room all help to shut out distractions from mind. But once you are out of that room, the mind is again chaotic. Our teacher said, “Meditation is a way of life. What I teach is not just for the one hour you spend in this room, but you need to remember to apply it to everything you do. You can meditate everywhere by just concentrating at one thing at a time..”

I had forgotten all this long time back and I’m happy I remembered it on this trip back home.

In fact lets leave all that the meditation gurus say..  Humans cannot multitask. We just switch between tasks very rapidly which is taxing on the brain. If we focus on one thing at a time then we would finish it quicker than when we try to do multiple jobs at the same time. So why stress?

Maybe I’ll successfully keep to what I wrote 🙂

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