Single-Tasking and the FDA

The focus this past week for our minimalist month was single-tasking. I was TOTALLY on board for this since slowing down is not something I do very often. I was perhaps a little skeptical about what the benefits would be but I was still willing to try. I got off to a slow start with slowing down things and I reached a point where I felt like I could not handle one more thing when…”BUM BUM BUUUUUM” the FDA showed up at work!!!


FDA= This dinosaur    My face=Basically my exact face when they showed up.

I have mentioned before that I work in a microbiology lab and due to the nature of our work, we are subject to unannounced audits by the FDA. A coded page goes out to the whole company when the FDA shows up and honestly when I heard the page tears came to my eyes. In order to get everything that is needed for the audit a “war room” is set up (real dramatic right? 🙂 ) to support any requests the auditor makes. Then starts the never-ending barrage of requests. Training, calibration records, complaints, a tour of the facility, laboratory records all requested basically at the same time. Multi-tasking is not just useful, it is mandatory!

After multiple 13 hour days and rehearsal every night I was starting to feel broken. This is when it hit me: single-tasking is not just about concentrating every now and then on a specific task. It is about giving your mind and body the break it needs/deserves. I am a planner and I love to be busy but I think we get to a point where we have pushed ourselves so far that even our achievements and hard work fail to make us feel fulfilled and instead we feel like we are constantly behind and will never catch up.

My attempt to practice single-tasking this week was a total failure, however in experiencing the opposite of my goal I have become a true believer in the benefits of taking tasks and attacking them one at a time, of allowing ourselves moments to be understimulated, and in understanding that “being busy” does not mean you are accomplishing anything worthwhile. I am attempting to redefine what success is in my life and at this moment success to me is as simple as an uninterrupted cup of tea.

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