We’re living in an era of toxic time – no matter how much we try to squeeze into the hours of the day, it never seems enough. Image Credit: Unsplash/Martin Adams

Do you always feel rushed off your feet? In the daily hustle of trying to multitask and find that magic 25th hour in every day, we end up getting physically and mentally exhausted.

Click start to play today’s Spell It, where we learn what to do when we’re ‘feeling’ a loss of control and focus.

We’re living in an era of toxic time – no matter how much we try to squeeze into the hours of the day, it never seems enough. But according to a November 2023 report in US-based psychology news website Psychology Today, adding more time is a fallacy, and multitasking doesn’t work.

Every shift from one task to another takes up a tiny amount of time, and when added up, it takes a serious chunk out of our day. Multitasking also slightly deteriorates the quality of any new task we want to focus on, according to the Psychology Today report. Since we’re hurrying into the new task, we drag a little bit of the previous task into it.

So, what’s the solution?

Perhaps it’s time to try the Japanese concept of ichigyo-zammai. The Japanese Soto Zen monk and teacher Shunryu Suzuki talked about it in his classic, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. The concept involves doing just one thing at a time, and giving the task all our focus as we do it.

Ichigyo-zammai can be applied to all areas of our lives. For instance, when we’re talking to someone, we’re often thinking about what we’ll say in response. And when we’re working on a task, we’ll likely just check on our phones for absolutely no urgent reason. We’re not fully present in either of these instances.

Here’s how to use ichigyo-zammai to add more clarity and focus to our lives:

1. Honour your undertaking

Be intentional with practicing ichigyo-zammai and recognise that it can add immense value to your life. So, dive into it with attention and a sense of purpose, in order to reap its benefits.

2. Focus your thoughts

When you’re working on a new activity or task, focus on it intentionally, and exclude all other thoughts. If you notice a stray thought in your mind, try to return your attention to the task at hand immediately. With enough practice, you’ll find yourself getting less and less distracted.

3. Be thankful

After each focused session, take a moment to be thankful. Gratitude for a mind that’s capable of learning and adapting, gives you the motivation to practice ichigyo-zammai again.

What do you think of this Japanese concept? Play today’s Spell It and tell us at