Thursday, July 26, 2012

on multi-tasking








I often struggle to pay attention to the task at hand. Mid-way through a doing the dishes I decide to quickly throw those clothes in the washing machine. I might spot a recipe that I printed out and take a look at the ingredients list and ponder over whether I can make it tonight. Then forget what job I was doing in the first place. 

I can't talk on the phone without washing up, tidying or even sweeping the floor. I have mastered the ear on shoulder phone hold.

I can't watch tv without knitting.

As I wait for that coffee to boil I will be putting away washing.

I find myself pulling weeds when I'm supposed to be hanging out washing.

Not to mention the almost constant needs of a toddler.


Perhaps I am suffering from some form of housework ADD. Or perhaps it just mixes things up and makes the menial just that bit more interesting.



Are you easily distracted too? Or do you stay on task no matter what? 

37 comments:

Gladys in the Garden.blogspot.com said...

Oh how I relate to this. I am just the same. I like to think it's our clever female genes. I most definately can't watch TV without a hook or needles. I must admit, though, the times I do watch TV without a craft I get to see a whole lot more of the show I am watching, but it's not quite so fulfilling.

Vintage Rose said...

I had to laugh Tania as that is a typical day for me, everyday. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I am half way through the washing up as I type this. I only came in to quickly check and email and now look where I am!!!

Mel:)

Tracey said...

I think as mamma's we have so much to accomplish during a day that we are just wired that way, multi tasking is just a way of life for me I must say that at the end of the day it is nice to think back and realize all that was done.

Peta said...

i jump from task to task too. I figure if it all gets done in the end who cares what order it was done in!

Kate said...

Does that fact that I am reading your post with floury in the middle of making the bread dough fingers answer your question?
Absolutely distracted. Always.

theoldmilkcan said...

I reckon it just means you are mixing it up a bit - always better to get a bit of everything done, rather than one of twenty :)

I love button's by Emma said...

I went to put my recycling in the bin whilst washing up, on the way I tidyed the table picked toys off the floor and went back to my washing up. This was all still with the recycling still under my arm. I then had to make sure I just put it in the bin.

Vanessa said...

I am also guilty of this. As I get older I am more prone to forgetting which task I was doing initially. It's not unusual for me to find the morning washing up still half done at lunchtime as I've gone out to feed the worms and then saw some weeds that needed pulling and then put the washing on the line which led me to clean out a cupboard in the laundry etc, etc.
Glad to find some like minded souls.

Jacq from JaxFancy said...

Completely distractable here.

When I went to bed last night I realised I had started dusting the bedside tables, so had taken all the stuff off and put it on the bed....and got distracted by something forgetting all about the dusting for the rest of the day!

I am always doing 50 things at the same time, with my brain thinking about another 50, its just the way I like it no matter what I forget!

Jacq

Greenie Canberra said...

Ha ha hahaaaaa .... I was going to say I'm just like that too in every endeavour - work, play, home, conversations. Thing is, I've spent the best part of 50 years thinking I was disorganised but we get through so much everyday! And somehow those dishes get done, as does the washing, the toys get put away only to be pulled out again - we make that phone call and get the report written. We've just had a fabulously meandering mixed-up time of doing it all!
Enjoy! Greenie x

Enchanted Moments said...

Oh man, that is me....so very me...I would love a picture of me one day....hairclip, soft toy, piece of crusty play dough in one hand, tea towel over my shoulder..a few dirty clothes under my arm waiting til I go past the laundry basket..something on the stove..a little one calling out for help putting a dress on a doll..and the phone ringing or someone at the door...life...you gotta love it...and its certainly never boring...but today, yes today...I am needing some serious planning...my house looks like a tornado has whizzed through it, husband is returning from a work trip , so the timer will be out..15 minutes on each task...tick, tick, tick....hope thats some 5 minute bread youve got proving there...mine is just about to be put in the oven....

Tracey said...

LOL it is all of us! Sometimes I think that is why we blog too - so much going on in our heads that we have to put it down somewhere.
After I read your post I continued to unpack the dishwasher, then put the kettle on, then took the wash out of the machine, thought about your post, came back to the dishwasher, put ingredients in the bread maker to mix, boiled the kettle (again), went and got a jar from my store, poured the hot water over my honey jar, etc etc etc. I just jump around all day. It makes my husband giddy to watch. Have a great busy, jumpy, distracted day! :)

Tammi said...

Guilty as charged. I think women in general are masters at multi taking and I know that I for one am trying to accomplish a hundred things at once. At least it mixes the day up :)
x

motherwho said...

This brought a smile to my face. I think I couldn't have written this post myself! As I was clicking your link in my google reader, I am sipping a coffee, I've got my bread recipe book open choosing my next loaf to bake, while your page loaded I was searching for a chicken drumstick slowcooker recipe and pondering the ingredients, while bouncing a toddler on my knee and thinking about how long I have to prepare lunch before it's toddler nap time... sigh. Time for us to all take a breath and slowwwww dowwwnnn I think! :)

motherwho said...

Woops, i meant COULD have written this!

Dee said...

you know, there would have been a time (a couple of months ago?) that i would have chuckled, agreed and been quietly smug at how clever i am at getting 5 things done at once.
but now...
after having this time to step back and take stock...i can see now that it is that continuous, relentless, servitude to 'the next thing on the list'. it consumed my every moment, and choked any time i spent with the kids (i'd be thinking about what i COULD be doing or would do as soon as i got away from them!)
i'm working hard to resolve how i will deal with this when we go back home. i haven't figured it out yet...but at least i'm aware of the danger of multi-tasking when left un-checked.
do you feel like it's a positive thing in your life? or do you feel like it's something that needs changing? would love to hear your thoughts.
~d x

alison@thisbloominglife said...

Oh I hear you, don't have the toddler but I do paid work from the kitchen bench as I do all the other tasks! By the end of the day I am shattered...

I've been working hard on breaking the habit as it tends to just make me anxious and feel that I am not doing any one job properly. I', trying to be more mindful (trying trying trying). Google 'clutterpunk monotasking' for another good discussion of this. xxx

Deanne said...

definitely sounds just like me- probably a lot to do with a busy household with so many tasks to do!

Maria said...

me too. I am constantly flitting from job to job. Then I will just quickly check blogs or FB and then the pikelets have burnt again :)

Anonymous said...

I think its just the busy life of a mum and wife !!! :)
Lauren

Brave New Fiona said...

I've always got too many pots on the boil too. Driven mainly by panic not ADD in my case. Panic that it is not all going to get done before the micro men in my life come and disrupt the production process. But in the end, my kids are going to remember the amount of positive attention I gave them, not how clean and smooth running the household was. Poor fellas, lately I have been putting house before kids! And sadly, the house does not look better for it. Pah! xx Fi

Lilian said...

Totally...me...sometimes I force myself to write down a 'to do' list and stick to it so that I can work out what I actually 'did' that day. The countless numbers of coffees left on the kitchen counter that have gone cold because I went off to do something... it's a constant struggle. It does get frustrating though which is why I started the 'to do' list because at least that way I 'finish' tasks rather than have a dozen half done ones.

Jess B said...

I think that makes you an amazing mother! Using every little bit of time you have to be a bit more productive. I am way too guilty of using those times where I could also be doing something else as an excuse to stop and do nothing. Not good! So well done you Tania, for being fabulous. x

Chantille Fleur said...

I know what you mean about being distracted. I have concluded that women were made to multi task - we couldn't cope otherwise lol!
You should be proud that you accomplish so much in a day - especially with a toddler underfoot. :)
Sarah x

dixiebelle said...

Sounds just like me, but add in a dose of 'I should concentrate on the task at hand!' self-talk too.

Vanessa said...

Oh that's definitely me. Always distracted and never quite getting to the bottom of any one job. The washing-up gets started, rooms are tidied for a few mins before I remember the sun is shining and the washing needs to go on, then I look at my poor kale being eaten so I start hunting down green caterpillars, and suddenly I realise I should have made bread hours ago.... And so it goes... Sometimes I'm aware of it and it tickles me, and other times it's just plain overwhelming!

humble habit said...

Tania, i pulled weeds today when I was meant to be hanging washing and then never hung the washing. How about trying to stay still and sit when you have guests, I find that really difficult.

BLD in MT said...

When it comes to housework I am terrible at multitasking. Or I have tremendous Housework ADD, whichever way you want to look at it.

I am folding clothes in the bedroom which leads me to the kitchen to put away towels which leads me to start putting away the clean dishes until I realize I should really start bread before doing the dishes because the bread needs to rise and I can finish the dishes then and actually I should hang the laundry on the line too since it will need some sunshine to dry and its already early evening....etc, etc, etc. I try to work on it. But, none the less I multitask. Whatever, as long as it all gets done.

It happens in the garden, too.

christmasriver said...

And that's the beauty of being made a woman! haha I love that we can do so many things at once! :)

Jenny of Elefantz said...

I long to not multi task...my mind imagines it would be bliss.
Hugs
Jenny

Tracey said...

it all seems to get done eventually :) Nice to come by your blog again - i have been a bit scarse lately - I am loving all the granny chic in your home!

Kim H said...

I don't get distracted while I'm washing up or making the bed or vacuuming etc but I definitely get distracted when I'm outside in the garden. I'll often start out with one job and then it turns into 50 other jobs that randomly get started and not finished. It overwhelms me, that's for sure. I do multi-task a lot though. I find it hard to just do one thing, especially the talking on the phone one. I have to be doing something else while I'm on the phone but it's really limiting with a corded one. I've smashed our phone recently due to multi-tasking too far from the phone's reach! x

Energiser Bunny said...

Sounds like a theme here - a curse of our gender or a strength? Not sure, but we all seem to make it work

Bungalowgirl said...

Seems like you struck a chord with this post Tania. Think it is a mum's life to be juggling all our jobs while constantly being distracted. I think I am so used to being interrupted by whatever crisis that i have forgotten how to actually complete one task before starting something else!melx

Nicole Sanders said...

I absolute agree on this issue Tania. I so often think how many different tasks I try to do at once. The amount of times I boil the kettle before finally making that cuppa. The constant interruptions or getting distracted with another job that needs to be done!:)

Catherine said...

I'm guilty of doing this too. I think because there is just so much to do and it's hard not to get distracted or let myself get distracted by something that seems much more interesting than what you need to do:)

Amanda said...

You have just described me to a tee :) I think it's all part of the 101 tasks us mothers have to do each day x