I am a recovering multi-tasker and not always so much in recovery. For years, I truly believed that if you can do more than one thing at a time, that was always the better option.
That if you can do several things at a time you simply get more done and save more time.
It’s only in the last few years that I have realized the folly of my ways!
It was late at night, I was on a training call, one of about 35 people dialed in from around the world. The trainer was one of my favorites, she always had a word of wisdom or a real story to throw into the discussion to bring is alive and create connection.
I was dead tired. I had been up with one child or another all of the previous night. And I had gone straight into work and house chores all day. That’s what work felt like those days…chores.
I saw the call as the perfect opportunity to clear out my inbox, work on my accounting and make some to-do lists. So I got busy.
My headset was on. I checked in with the call and said hi to everyone.
Then I started to get busy, listening all the time.
I have to say, I did get my inbox cleared and my accounts finished. Just then I realized that it was the end of the call. The call leader asked for final input. I noticed that I hadn’t commented at all throughout the class.
Then she asked me directly what I had taken from the materials. I quickly glanced at the class title. It was ‘presence’ in coaching.
I responded, it makes me realize how important it is to be truly present. She agreed and finished the call.
At first I felt like a total fraud. I mean, I had lied to her. I was so distracted in my multi tasking I hadn’t even hear the call.
Then I realized, that was my lesson.
My distraction had created absence. And now I realized the true value of presence, because I had missed out on this opportunity to be there.
It was a valuable lesson, I’m still learning.
How are you doing with ‘presence’ vs. multi-tasking?
Have you missed out on something you regretted because of lack of presence?