Multi-tasking is a false measure of success.
I notoriously over schedule myself and compulsively fill my calendar whenever I see blank spaces. Do we have a weekend where there is no horse show? Schedule a cross country schooling! Do we have a weekend left after that? Schedule a clinic!! Our success has largely been defined by being everywhere, all the time, and producing good results… everywhere, all the time.
A typical morning involves: drinking coffee, answering texts, Facebook messages, getting ready to ride, scheduling ____________________ (fill in the blank), and simultaneously having a conversation with my groom. This is being productive, right? This is how we measure our “success” rates.
If we are excellent multi-taskers, we must be successful business people.
Social media and marketing promotional work has honed in on this deadly trap- the more platforms we are on, the more visible we are, the more available we are, the more available we have to be, etc. This means not only do we spend a tremendous amount of time building a business, but we spend the majority of our time outward focused.
What do I mean by outward focused? In this instance, I mean people management. We become so available for every step of other people’s day and conversation that we forget to focus on where we are stepping. We need to manage the barn, the horses, the rides, the schedule, the sponsors, the clinics, the, the, the, the… Ping Ping Ping Ping Ping Ping. Our phones ping for attention all day. Clients get upset if they don’t hear back from us; they get upset if they don’t hear back almost immediately. This may even be subconscious on their part.
We built it into the system. The more visible we are, the more visible we have to be. The more we multi-task, the more efficient we are.
We bought into the wrong system. We are trying to play with animals that are intrinsically in the moment. What do I mean? There is nothing like a 1300 pound animal to remind you that an innocuous tree branch has suddenly morphed into a terrifying serpent spitting flames. They are in the moment and only in the moment.
Horse don’t step into the dressage arena thinking about how many carrots they have saved, how many times they rolled or how many other horses have been in the dressage arena before them. Yet, we as riders/trainers/coaches step into the saddle with all of that swirling around in our little monkey mind.
Somewhere deep down, we know it. No wonder we all ride. We seek a reminder to slow down.
To focus… to take each… step… half halt… breathe… right leg… feel… lost the shoulder… Right elbow… breathe…
lift collars bones…
Stay with yourself.