The topic of discussion at our last networking meeting was ‘How to be more like a man in business’. We women often congratulate ourselves on our multi-tasking abilities but maybe sometimes we would do well to emulate our tunnel-visioned counterparts and really FOCUS on one thing at a time. But as mums, is that really possible?
For most working mums, our career is just one of many balls we are juggling in the air at any one time, along with the kids, the home, the shopping, the cleaning, making sure everyone is fed and has clean clothes – the list goes on and on. These multi-tasking skills date right back to prehistoric times when Mrs Cavelady looked after the Cave-Babies, picked the berries, made sure the fire didn’t go out, and used her powers of intuition and perception to watch out for any signs of danger. Meanwhile Captain Caveman was entirely focussed on his ONE goal – bringing home the dinner.
I myself am RUBBISH at concentrating on one thing at a time. If I’m on the computer working, I’ve always got numerous windows open, flicking from one screen to the other. I think that by doing lots of things at once I am being ultra-productive, but maybe I’m kidding myself. So, I’m going to TRY taking a leaf out of Captain Caveman’s book. I’m going to try and be 100% present in whatever task I am doing. If I’m working on the website or sending emails I won’t have Facebook or Tesco.com open in the background. And equally if I’m playing with the children I am going to TRY not to feel guilty or resentful for the work I could be doing.
So, as a gentle introduction to exploring my ‘masculine side’ I took a leaf out of my partner’s book this afternoon. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and the girls and I spent most of it in the garden. Normally I would be pottering – doing a bit of weeding or dead-heading, reading a book, moving my pots around the patio – just keeping busy. But today I reclined the deckchair and just sat. I even shut my eyes for a while and tried switching off my brain (and the guilt) for a little while.
It felt worryingly good!