Friday, July 29, 2016

Multi-tasking - Truth or Fiction?

Multi-tasking at it's chaotic best.  My kitchen
on a recent Sunday morning.

I used to delude myself - and still do - that I was/am a competent multi-tasker.  I am not.  I think what I refer to as 'multi-tasking' is 'dearth of focus-itis'.  In the photograph above - from lower left, going clockwise - I was making hummingbird nectar, baking brownies, mixing up granola, making coffee, brewing tea for kombucha, and thinking about doing dishes.  Chaos ensued.  The nectar boiled.  Brownies were slightly overdone.  Granola was not as clumpy as usual.  The kombucha tea cooled too much.  At least the coffee was good.

When I start a project, the chances are very good that I will start at least six other things before I finish (if ever) the original project.  For example, I will start sorting things in the laundry room and then find myself in the shed at the end of the poultry yard a half hour later, wondering what the heck I was looking for and what it had to do with the laundry room.  To keep my mind from inching toward the subject of dementia (a slippery slope), I usually make it a game and see if I can figure out what convoluted thought process took me from Point A to Point Z.  I like to equate it to crossword puzzles, in that it is exercising my spongy brain cells.

One of the people I work for IS a multi-tasker.  And an exceptionally fine one, at that.  She can be on a conference call dealing with the legal issues of drones and be emailing me about something totally unrelated and take a call from one of her kids - all the while, monitoring the call and answering my email.  It's amazing.  I also think she is the exception.

What say y'all?


  1. I am like you - fooling myself that I can handle multiple tasks and remain efficient. HARDY-HAR-HAR!! Sigh, I think I will you use your "game" idea to help me determine what the heck I am doing a point Z and at least not somewhere around the B-C-or D mark. I also work with a couple of young ladies that are magnificent at and have impeccable clean desks!! I am in awe, constantly. I think it is genetic though, my mother was much the same way. And I like that comforting feeling because she was a wonderful lady. Here's to hoping we can finish a project or two over the weekend - it is always my goal!

  2. Beth - I do not trust people with impeccably clean desks. It is eerie. I prefer the 'lived in/on' look. It's nice to know that I am not alone... :)

  3. Nope, my mind is not strong enough to successfully multi-task. Like the last time I made cottage cheese. I had to be in the kitchen doing something else (don't ask me what 'cause I truly don't remember) so I thought I might as well heat the milk to the required 190 degrees. I mean, I could give it a gentle stir now and then and keep a close eye on the thermometer, right? The next thing I knew, I was back in the bedroom on my computer because I had remembered "something" very important I needed to do there and two quarts of milk was merrily boiling up and over the pan, all over the stove and down under the burners. Happens all the time when I try to multi-task. The only thing I can say in defense of my weak mind is that I am usually very good at beginning a task and working it through to completion. And then tackling the next thing on the list. Usually. Most of the time.

  4. Good coffee makes the whole damn thing a success!

  5. Multi-tasking is a myth. Our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. I would have focused on the brownies. :o)

  6. I could have munched from one end of your counter to the other-I might have even done the dishes for you.

  7. Scientific studies apparently show that multi-tasking is not, in fact, an efficient use of time for precisely the reasons you mention.

  8. Humn.....I can do more than one thing at a time....I am now scraping out burned bits in a pot because I did more than one thing at a time! It seems like the more I try to get done the less I manage to do well! Your countertop looks lived in in a good way!

  9. I just popped over from Boulderneigh to say hello! I hear you about the multi-tasking thing (or not)! I am like a butterfly flitting from one flower to the other and back again... and wow to finished projects... do they really exist?
    Nice to meet you and look forward to reading more posts...
    Hugs from a new friend...