No doubt most of us are skilled at multitasking. The 21st century demands a lot from us and we have evolved into moving from A to B to Z at lightening speed. But when it comes to relocation, it’s worth slowing down to process all that is going on. Here are a few words of sage advice from my friend Anne, who relocated from London to Corsica with her husband and young children.

“Do one thing at a time, not more. If that thing is having fun for an hour on a Sunday afternoon, just do that. If it’s organizing the medical file for your family, don’t start opening drawers and wondering if you should pack all the paperclips you’ve inexplicably been hoarding for the last five y ears. I know, I know, we are all supposed to be multitasking geniuses, and you feel like you have NO time, not even the time to read this. But the truth is that multitasking is a myth. Your brain can only do one thing at a time. Even if it’s what you do at work, or how you survive an evening with kids and laundry and the stuff of life, and it’s the only way you have time to fit everything into your average day.

Right now you are moving. If you do each thing consciously and calmly you’ll be a lot more likely to remember having done it, and how you did it. I promise, being able to clearly remember sending in the tax form, or that you packed the Christmas decorations with the tennis rackets, will save you a lot of turmoil on the other end. Plus, your kids and partner, and pets and friends, will all fare better if they’ve had the pleasure of your constant attention. Even if the increments are shorter in the upheaval of moving. So be a champion uni-tasker, and take it one thing at a time.”

Anne Samulevicius and I recently collaborated on an article for The Huffington Post (in English here and French here) that covers how to communicate when you don’t know a word of the language.

how to make big moves - multitasking

Read more about Anne’s move inside the guidebook How To Make Big Moves: Relocate Without Losing Your Mind. You’ll get her tips and international intel curated from 17 other big movers.