Busy makes it’s own problems. I like busy. But it does mean that I’m not focusing on everything at once. Actually, it’s probably good I’m not. That would be… distracting. I can multitask, but unlike the mental image of an octopus wielding objects with all eight arms, you should instead picture a figure sitting on a wheeled office chair scooting from one desk to another. Each task has ‘lag’ time where you can’t keep working on it anyway, so you kick off and… whhee! on to another desk and the task that is ready for you there. Kind of like Voltaire’s desks, only with not-books on each one. Computer, lab bench, ‘nother computer, sink full of dishes, and so on and on and on.

What I have to be careful of is putting too much focus on any one task than it needs at that given time. I have stuff that needs done now, some that needs done by the weekend, while other things I don’t have to worry about for months, but they might need some small attention every so often. Because I’m me, I can easily hyperfocus on a single thing, and other stuff falls by the wayside. So I have to stop myself and re-evaluate, usually daily, sometimes weekly (Weekends are useful for this, as they currently are a different routine than weekdays. But even if I worked 7 days a week I’d be able to find breaks that would help reset). Should I be doing this? is a valid question, as is: should I be doing this now?

I rarely admit to myself that there is something I can’t do. If I had done that, I would not be where I am today. Too stubborn to admit it’s time to quit. If I needed to be able to do something, I did it. I look back now and wonder how I managed. There are definitely times in my life I shouldn’t have been able to keep on. I’m not entirely clear how I got through that misty time. It’s a bit foggy. I know for sure I was there, and now I’m here and I remember a lot of days where I was terrified and worked until I couldn’t see straight because I didn’t know what else to do. Sitting still and letting fate dictate my existence never crossed my mind.

I know my kids don’t get that yet. They don’t understand that hard work, persistence, and passion can make all the difference in life. And maybe they won’t need those, not the way I did. School for them is ‘meh’ as the Junior Mad Scientist just told me. They don’t fully grasp that the way they approach school develops habits that will linger throughout their lives: learn to kill time until the end of the day, or learn to love learning and be driven toward successful acquisition of knowledge. It’s not that they can’t break bad habits, it’s that it gets harder and harder as time goes by. I know that me, at 40+, in the habit of working incessantly, find it’s a difficult habit to break, too. My husband helps, reminding me gently that I need to find time to relax, to focus on people rather than tasks, to find the time to do something besides work. It’s hard and I forget, so reminders are welcome.

You might think that my kids would read this blog and get an inkling of the way I worry about them, but I’m pretty sure that except on rare occasions it’s assigned as homework to the JMS (You didn’t know you were reading educational material, did you? LOL) they don’t think about it. They certainly don’t think of it as anything special. Heck, I don’t think of it as anything special. Most days you’re reading my rambling thoughts as they fall out of my head and pass through the fingertips into the keyboard. I’m just happy they seem to be coherent most days. Sometimes, I can offer no guarantees. Pretty sure they are boring more days than not. All I can say is that once in a while my thoughts inspire you all to think about stuff in a different light and that’s good. that’s what it’s about.

But for now, the rambling needs to focus on another task.

*kick* Scooootss…



4 responses to “MultiTasking”

  1. Kathleen Sanderson Avatar
    Kathleen Sanderson

    I hope that eventually all of your children will read all of your blogs — I know you aren’t really superwoman, but you have accumulated a lot of wisdom, which I think they are still too young to appreciate. Give them a few years, and that will probably change.

  2. Mark A OMalley Avatar
    Mark A OMalley

    One of the lessons I struggle with is differentiating between the Important and the Urgent. For example, the alarm goes off, telling me to remove something from the oven. Urgent. Needs action NOW. My grandchild is two. Need to go visit her in Nashville. Could go this month, or next month. A task that is not time sensitive. I find myself sometimes spending time on Urgent crap that is not Important. 50 years from now will I even REMEMBER that I overcooked the Whatever? While Charli will certainly remember whether or not Grandpa took the time to know her. Writing a book is important, but sometimes gets preempted by the parade of Urgencies life throws at us.

    1. Sometimes you have to stop and ask yourself :WHY am I doing this, again?: and not jsut meaning that task, but life. What’s your why? and you’ll re-calibrate your focus.

  3. Cedar, that rambling distillation of life is the wisdom of life distilled to its crystal essence.