Multitasking Madness–what I’m learning about focus during ED recovery

multitasking madness


Good morning!

I’m gonna try to keep this post (relatively) short today. I’ve had certain thoughts rolling around in my head recently and want to share them with you, thus allowing me to gain some much needed “thinking space.” I only have so much… 😉

Wanna know what I’m thinking about?

Multitasking.

Well, almost… More specifically I’ve been thinking about multitasking in ED recovery.

Through reflection on my experience during recovery so far, I am growing concerned about my tendency to work on too many things at once. I’m beginning to wonder whether or not multitasking in recovery is beneficial or not.

And I think I’ve decided. It’s definitely not for me. Who knows? Multitasking may not be good for many others who are in the midst of ED recovery either…

What is multitasking in recovery anyway? I’m sure it manifests itself in various ways with different people but for me it can be encapsulated in 5 simple words.

Trying to do too much–all at once!

Oh, I guess now that’s 8 words now. 😉

There is so much to recover from in recovery. The negative thought patterns, habits, and actions dictated by ED take over your life and need to be rooted out. Yet tackling them all at once may not be the best option and could damage sustainability in recovery.

My mom has often said to me, “Jade, I think you’re too hard on yourself. You should pick one goal and focus on it instead of trying to conquer everything at once.”

At first I didn’t give much consideration to her advice. It’s not that I necessarily disagreed with it, I just saw it as totally impossible. I thought, I simply can’t focus on just one thing when there’s so much to do!

But now I staunchly agree. I am trying to do too much in recovery. While trying to work on many facets of recovery at once, I become harsh and overly critical with myself when I see that I’m failing at one or all of the areas I’m seeking to change. I begin to feel discouraged, irritated, and totally overwhelmed.

And you know what? If I continue on this path it will lead to ultimate burnout.

It’s so easy to get caught up in all that needs to be changed instead of focusing all our energy on one change at a time. It’s easy to get caught up in doing instead of being still and allowing Jesus to reveal to us just one thing that He wants us to focus on changing by His power.

Meet Martha from Luke 10 in the Bible. She was busy being a superb hostess and engrossed in “much serving.” But Martha grew increasingly annoyed with her sister Mary who was sitting and listening to Jesus while completely neglecting her share of the serving duties. Flustered and overwhelmed, Martha asked Jesus a question designed to get Mary on her feet and into the kitchen serving. She said,

“Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” Luke 10:40b NKJV

And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 NKJV, emphasis supplied

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with serving guests and working to make them feel comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with setting out the appetizers and putting the finishing touches on the cake. The problem lies in the fact that Martha was so caught up in serving and doing that she forgot Jesus. She forgot to sit still and listen at His feet. She forgot to place herself in a position where she could be inspired and strengthened by His words. 

Could it be the same with me? With you? Could we become completely caught up in seeking to do many good things but forget to choose the one thing that is needed?

And what is that one necessity?

It’s placing ourselves in a position for Jesus to speak to us. It’s basking in His presence. It’s communicating with Him through prayer and receiving instruction from Him through His Holy Spirit and the Word.

Listening to Jesus is the one thing that is needed.

Oh I know, it’s easy to write about but not as easy to put in to practice. Naturally I want to jump head first into the doing and changing everything on my own. You’re the same way? We must realize that this type of doing leads to ultimate frustration just like Martha experienced.

So instead of trying to multitask in recovery–trying to change several things at once, I am going to take that (Biblical) advice my mom shared and focus on one thing.

I am going to focus.

I am going to focus on Jesus. I am going to sit still and focus on what Jesus is saying to me. I am going to focus on cooperating with His Holy Spirit to work that one change in me. I am going to listen and learn as Mary did so long ago.

Interestingly enough, Jesus has been speaking to me about a particular change that He wants me to make during recovery. I’ve wanted to obey but have been caught up in trying to do a lot at once and this one thing that God is asking me to work on has proverbially slipped under the rug.

So focus, Jade! Focus, my friend! No more multitasking in recovery. Be still before Jesus, listen to His words and ask Him for the one specific thing that He wants you to work on with Him.

Thanks for letting me clear some head space ya’ll! I feel better already. 😉

-J

Do you have one thing that God has been telling you He wants you to work on with Him? Are you caught up in trying to tackle too much at once? What advice has a family member or friend shared with you that has greatly helped you during recovery? What are your thoughts on multitasking during recovery? 

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