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last few days in London

September 4, 2014

While in London, I made an effort to detox my NYC exhaust-ridden lungs by taking daily walks in the crisp English air.

And while repairing my lungs, I also tried to become a better person by listening to podcasts about everything from “How to Raise a Successful Child” to “The 8-Hour Diet.”

(Yes, 8 hours. We’ll revisit that on another day.)

 

Dinner at Asia de Cuba in London.

Celebrating my MIL’s birthday at Asia de Cuba in London.

 

One fine multitasking day, I listened to a TED talk delineating the reasons it’s important NOT to multitask.

Highlights:

  • People are 1,000% happier when they are focusing on ONE specific task (Sorry I don’t recall the exact percentage as I was multitasking).
  • People are far more successful when they focus on ONE specific task (These people must have an army of nannies).
  • People are for more irritated when they focus on multiple tasks (True. But if I wasn’t doing multiple tasks I’d be thinking of how I was capable of doing multiple tasks, and I’d be irritated I wasn’t utilizing my time wisely).

 

My MIL's birthday cake.

My MIL’s birthday cake.

 

I decided to put the podcast into practice:

I stopped in Hyde Park, took out my earphones, and decided to focus on the lake and ONLY the lake for an entire 5 minutes.

 

Final bird visit in Hyde Park.

Final bird visit in Hyde Park.

 

My thought process:

  • Wow, the swans are so quietly synchronized. Pretty.
  • Must be nice to be a swan – I bet they aren’t trying to unlock the keys to success.
  • And exercise isn’t something they have to attempt to work in to their day! No 8-hour-diet for them.
  • But seriously, how much can one swim around all day without getting bored?
  • I wonder if it’s been 5 minutes yet?

 

A happy moment on the flight home. There was no barf involved!

A happy moment on the flight home. British Airways – you’ve come a long way since I last flew on your planes. Literally.

So in case you are still reading this nonsense, here is my takeaway:

A focused life would be great.

But until someone figures out how to import the European workweek and gets Maya to stop asking me super important questions like “Should I have frozen yogurt from 16 Handles or Tasti-D-Lite today?” I’m thinking that the multitasking is here to stay.

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34 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2014 7:15 am

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m far happier when multitasking. For instance, reading + drinking coffee or wine is far better than just reading or just drinking. Also, I’m planning a trip to Europe sometime in June, so make sure to get scones with me during the London portion. I would also be okay with meeting up in another country, but I feel like London makes the most sense for a scone adventure.

    • September 4, 2014 4:06 pm

      I totally agree…I love to read while eating dinner. And I love to be on my computer at breakfast. Strange.

      I’m not sure if I’ll be in the UK in June but if I am we will definitely be having scones! So excited for your trip J!

  2. September 4, 2014 8:27 am

    I’m not good at focusing on one thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to meditate and just totally failed. Your MIL’s cake looks amazing, btw!!! Such a cool idea for a design.

    • September 4, 2014 4:07 pm

      I want to learn to meditate and I hear it takes a lot of practice to get there.

      Thanks for the compliment L! The cake was a hit.

  3. September 4, 2014 8:41 am

    My husband is a major multi tasker. He’ll be watching a TV show and doing so many other things that I don’t even realize that he’s actually watching the show. How does he have any clue what’s going on? I can’t do that. I multi task sometimes but I feel like I don’t really get too much out of either activity. LONDON!! Fun.

    • September 4, 2014 4:08 pm

      I rarely watch TV and when I do I am almost always reading, folding laundry, etc. I can’t JUST do the TV for some reason!

  4. September 4, 2014 12:36 pm

    Multitasking is the only way I get through my day! I don’t even know how to focus on just one thing anymore. Unless that thing is frozen yogurt of course! Once again, Maya has boiled it down to the important things in life 🙂

    PS: Best. Cake. Ever.

    • September 4, 2014 4:08 pm

      Yes, Maya knows what’s important and dessert tops the list!! 🙂

  5. September 4, 2014 2:40 pm

    OMGGGGGGOSH,
    I love that bag! Did you buy it in London? Xx

    • September 4, 2014 4:09 pm

      That bag is actually a cake…and yes we bought it in London. 🙂

  6. September 4, 2014 2:46 pm

    I don’t think it would be boring to swim around all day as long as I have Instagram.

    • September 4, 2014 4:09 pm

      I can give up any kind of social media, even FB, but I LOVE Instagram. It’s so addicting.

  7. Heather C permalink
    September 4, 2014 3:39 pm

    With 4 kids there is no way I will be focusing on one thing at a time, pretty much ever. Maybe after they all move out I can try it and see if I feel less stressed. Something to look forward to in 2030 I guess.

    • September 4, 2014 4:10 pm

      2030?? I had to laugh Heather. I can’t imagine how you do it! Kudos to you being so unselfish….I could learn a few things from you.

  8. Jessie E. permalink
    September 4, 2014 5:03 pm

    Love this – I know exactly how you feel! Your description of the TED talk on multitasking made me laugh, especially since it sounds like thoughts I would have. Focus is great, but multitasking is how I get things done!

    Happy birthday to your MIL! That is quite a cake!

    • September 18, 2014 9:48 am

      It’s always great to hear people also need to multitask to get things done! Thanks for the comment J. 🙂

  9. September 4, 2014 7:02 pm

    Multitasking all the way. well, i think its good to switch it up. sometimes multitasking is essential. other times its nice to do the one task thing.

    oh and awesome LV cake!

    • September 18, 2014 9:49 am

      Thanks Daisy!! I’m hoping to make it to Boston soon, can’t wait to use all your great recs. 🙂

  10. Seana permalink
    September 5, 2014 4:48 am

    I’m all about multi tasking. You should see my kitchen right now. Working on painting a cabinet that is needing 2 coats of paint vs. the one I anticipated. Washing all my pottery pieces. There is crap everywhere. I start in one thing and head to another while paint dries. It would kill me to focus on watching geese in the water for 1 minute. My attention span is not that great. My mind would wander as yours does. My husband is planning a little 3 day get away this month. I told him I’m not going if my kitchen is under construction (granite counters). He thinks I can just call the contractor and tell him to take a 3 day break for us. Silly man. It doesn’t work that way. Glad you had a good vacation and some quality Maya time 🙂 Now, back to reality!

    • September 18, 2014 9:51 am

      Sorry for the VERY belated response Seana…I wanted to paint our cabinets in LA but was told that was not possible! Now I wonder if I’m just not smart enough to know more about kitchen-related topics.

      Or maybe I was mutli-tasking when the contractor was explaining it to me? LOL

      Hope you are good and that your 3 day vacation is on the calendar!

  11. Lydia permalink
    September 5, 2014 12:28 pm

    Multi-tasking is a must! Personally I feel like I’m wasting my time if I’m not multi-tasking doing something. Besides we are already a mother and wife so that’s multi-tasking 🙂
    I love the family picture, your hair looks fabulous. Oh my, that cake!

    • September 18, 2014 9:51 am

      So true…I am multitasking as a mom and a wife…I never thought of it like that Lydia!!

  12. September 6, 2014 5:15 pm

    What an awesome looking birthday cake…love Louis Vuitton!

  13. September 10, 2014 1:33 pm

    I love Mayas questions – frozen yogurt is kind of a big deal.. And about multitasking, I dont know what its like NOT multitasking.

    • September 18, 2014 9:52 am

      I was never a fan of frozen yogurt so maybe I just don’t get the serious nature of her questions? LOL

  14. September 10, 2014 7:10 pm

    I always multi-task when “watching TV”. I like having background noise while doing actual work 😛

    • September 18, 2014 9:52 am

      I like to have the TV on when I read…very strange as it’s totally distracting but a total must!

  15. September 13, 2014 4:21 pm

    That cake is incredible!!

  16. Shauna permalink
    September 14, 2014 10:48 pm

    You’re killing me, “British airways has come a long way, literally.” You are always so funny. I love it. The posts are still awesome, you’re still funny as ever and beautiful, Maya is growing beautifully and husband is handsome and awesome, despite what you say. Hahahhahahahaha!!!!

    Love to you Ameena,

    Shauna xoxox

    • September 18, 2014 9:53 am

      Thanks for the great comment Shauna!! My entire family appreciates your compliments. 🙂

  17. September 16, 2014 11:56 am

    Ahhhh.. finally reading some of your posts. You’ve been traveling quite a bit. Asia de Cuba closed down in NYC, they used to have amazing Tres Leches. That LV cake looks amazing. Hope you guys had a fun celebration.

    • September 18, 2014 9:54 am

      Isn’t it weird that Asia de Cuba closed in NYC? I mean if there was ever a place I think it would be popular….

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