Multitasking is a way of life when you are a mom, help with math homework while folding laundry, wash off kitchen counters while dinner is heating up on the stove, write a blog post while testing spelling words and those are just a few examples. I do this all day long with a few quiet moments thrown in between periods of perpetual motion.
I have been multitasking since I was a kid watching TV while I did my homework. As I got older it just got busier, TV, homework, talking on the phone. By the time I was in college, I was working full time and taking a full schedule of classes, I think chaos was the best way to describe life then. I left before the sun came up and came home after it set, it was a little crazy. I had moments of calm, like right before a big exam when I had no choice but spend three or four hours in the library or at the kitchen table pouring over my notes and textbooks.
The thing I am noticing now is that I wonder with all of the multitasking if I have lost the ability to focus on one thing at a time. The last few days I have been concentrating on finishing one thing at a time and it’s driving me crazy. I don’t know if it’s the lack of sleep or the out of control allergies but I get all twitchy and fidgety. My attention span sometimes feels like it’s about ten seconds long, and that is not normal for me. The chances of me getting a half hour much less three or four uninterrupted hours are about equal to me winning the lottery. Still you would think I could hold on to a fifteen to twenty minute span of time and get some serious ass kicking work done. Not so much, it seems. My brain wanders to the million other things that I need to be doing instead of the task at hand.
I know I can’t stop multitasking but I need to work on the focusing too.
Note to self… Schedule 15 minutes of uninterrupted focus time every day.
Can you believe I am still packing up Christmas decorations? Ugh, I can’t and I can see them cluttering up my garage! Not last week but the week before I decided that I’d had enough of the decorations in the house. I did a massive search and seizure operation on the house, packing up as much as I could and moving all boxes and what was left out to the garage. My plan was to use the garage as a final staging area to sort and get the last stuff packed up. And, of course, that was supposed to happen last week. Guess what didn’t happen last week? Ding ding ding! Yep, you got it!
So, Monday was a holiday and we’d had a friend of Boo’s stay for a sleepover the night before. We went to the zoo and carried out the kid transfer there. By the time we got home I was sore and exhausted from all of the walking (and hills) at the zoo. Working on the garage didn’t even occur to me. Tuesday I actually got quite a bit done with organizing and stacking the boxes that were already packed. Wednesday I had big plans. I even announced, “hey, I am going to go out to the garage for a little while.” As usual, something else happened and I never made it out there. Thursday I wasn’t feeling well and talked myself out of sorting. Friday through Sunday we were busy doing weekend stuff.
Here we are, heading into the third week of January and my decorations aren’ t put away and I haven’t started my spring cleaning. It’s making me a little crazy. (Ok, Faith, I heard that. Fine, it’s making me crazier than I started, ok?) I need to organize the cabinet under the sink in the bathroom. My clothes on the shelves in the closet need to be refolded. I have drawers that need to be reorganized. I have papers to file and files to go through… the list goes on.
Oh man, a list. I need to go make a list…
My brain is still on losing time. There are so many days that go by and I am busy, busy, busy all day long. At some point I look around and I can’t tell if I’ve really gotten anything done. And again, that was how last year went, running and more running, and there wasn’t a lot to look back on.
Some days I realize that I’ve been working hard with no visible result. Those days I will go work on something that we can all see before dinner. It’s a bit ridiculous, a weird kind of a tap dance that only I get at the end of the day. I kind of tried to do that with last year, I ran around like crazy getting stuff done but it really didn’t change the fact that I was super busy dealing with crap and I didn’t really get a lot done.
Sully’s favorite commercial, “Busy bee, can’t get that!”
Then there are the days that I try and try to get stuff done but every time I sit down there’s is something I have to get up and do… the dog needs to be let out, Boo has a question, the dryer is done, someone is texting me and my phone is across the room, the cat/dog/? is puking in the kitchen… It’s not like any of the things interrupting me are difficult or take time but I have days where I am going back and forth and I can’t get anything done. The thing is I don’t know if I should stop trying to get stuff done and just sit around waiting for someone to need me. I am pretty sure that’s not really an option but on really crazy days I feel like I should do that.
It’s hard enough to get things done on a ‘normal’ day. I start out the day by taking the sheets off of the bed and take them to the washer, start the washer then turn to the linen closet to get sheets but first I decide to take the folded kitchen towels off of the dryer to put away. While I am in the kitchen I remember that I need to take the recycling out, on the way through the garage I see that the dog food needs to be poured into the dog food container. I go to the linen closet to get new sheets for the bed when I hear the washer making noise, I readjust the sheets in the washer and then see that the dog is standing by the back door, after I let him out then I remember to put the dishes away. This goes on and on and at 3:00 in the afternoon I walk into the bedroom and see the still unmade bed. Seriously…
Honestly, I think there is no way around it, it’s a conspiracy against me. Right? No? Yeah, I guess not. It’s still a pain to deal with…