I Need Multitaskers Anonymous
April 23, 2007
I started to read an article about multitasking, but I got distracted by something else I was doing and came back to it a month later. That’s when I realized I had a serious problem.
Oh, I kind of had a clue. One day last winter I was at my computer doing six things at once as usual. As I popped up a web page to read while some photos printed, I had a sudden thought. You know, it would be kind of nice to do just one thing at a time. Instead of switching between half a dozen projects and progressing too slowly on all of them, what would it be like to just work on one project till it was finished, even if it meant I actually sat idle for a few moments while I waited for a page to print?
That was too radical a concept for my brain to handle at the time, but I did admit that I tended to take on too much. I stuck a Post-it reading SIMPLIFY on my monitor and went back to my multitasking, but the idea still rattled around in the back of my mind.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a multitasking pro. I’ve always loved impressing people by listing all the things I was doing while I was talking on the phone with them.
But, you know what? Sometimes it’s nice to just sit down and visit for awhile.
Then one day I had one more project piled on top of all the others. My mind was spinning with all the equal-priority projects piling up. So I made a schedule for my one free day. I blocked in hours that I would work on the newest project, and only that project. Everything else would have their turn—later. And thus the nagging voices were silenced.
Of course the next day I was back to my old ways, but there’s hope! Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go make out a schedule for my next day off… And print some pictures… And critique a story… And I have this craft order to finish…