There is nothing less American than a northern California shower.
The hotels all have low-flow shower heads — even the luxury hotels — and you can’t get yourself clean or wash the shampoo out of your hair. You walk around the Bay Area half-clean, half-soaped and half-bathed.
Also, while long and decadent showers aren’t good for the environment, I don’t like people telling me what to do. Part of what’s wrong with America is that we design and regulate our lives to the lowest common denominator instead of forcing the lowest common denominator to level-up.
So, okay, enough about America. I’m here in Half Moon Bay and had to take a northern California shower before my conference, this morning. But I’m sick of being half-clean. That’s when I looked over at the bathtub and decided to try the hand-held sprayer. Guess what? It’s super fast and aggressive. The water pressure is so strong that you could strip paint off the side of a house.
I’m like, “I’ll take a jerry-rigged-tub-shower! America is great, again!”
But here’s the deal: I wasn’t fully awake, and my mind was focused on a hundred things that had nothing to do with the bath. I hung up my conference dress on a hook, and, as I stepped into the tub, my mind wandered.
What should I wear to my event, today? Jim Knight and Scott Stratten wear jeans. Can I wear jeans instead of my dress? Should I put on mascara? My eyes are still sensitive, but I like to look nice on stage. And I haven’t heard from my friend Sarah in a few days. What’s up with that? Hope she’s okay. Also, she would tell me to wear jeans.
That’s when I accidentally dropped tub sprayer at my feet, and it went crazy like a garden hose — snaking all over the bathroom and spraying my face, the mirror, my dress, the walls, and the ceiling. The room was soaked before I could finally turn off the water.
Needless to say, I’m not wearing a dress on stage at today’s event. And it was a pain to wipe down the bathroom because all of my spare towels were soaked. But, more importantly, this could’ve been avoided if I did one thing: mono-tasking.
Mono-tasking is the act of doing the thing you’re doing with intentionality and integrity. You’ve heard the saying before: do one thing and do it well. Eat breakfast and keep your mind on eating breakfast. Drive your car and focus on driving. Take a jerry-rigged-tub-shower and take the goddamn shower.
Although mono-tasking is an extension of mindfulness, you don’t have to be Buddhist or even a northern California wellness guru to practice monotasking. You just need to be someone who’s sick of frenetic energy, wants to improve the quality of your work, and hates feeling spaced out during important moments where you should be present.
Like the shower.
I’m a big fan of mono-tasking, although I’m really bad at it. Today’s shower debacle is a gentle reminder to try again. So, here’s my thought for the day: Be where you are. Do what you’re doing. Focus on one thing at a time.
Mono-tasking will improve the quality of your work and life if you let it. For me, it will definitely improve the quality of my showers.