Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Is There a Support Group for Multitaskers?

Are you a multitasker?  It is a good thing to be able to multitask, right?

I am a big time multitasker.  That works out for me in my nursing career.  It is a rare thing for a nurse to have the luxury of being able to focus on one thing or even one patient at a time.  Multitasking is not only helpful but it is a necessary work skill.  I'm sure that is true in many professions.

Like all good things, though, moderation is important.  Multitasking can also become an obsession.  It can get so ingrained into your personality that it is nearly impossible to do one job at a time.  I'm sure many of you have experienced that.  It can reach a point of being totally disconcerting.

For instance, I might decide to do the laundry this morning.  As I go to get the hamper to take it downstairs, I realize I need to stop in the bathroom to get the towels to wash as well.  After I grab the towels I see my ponytail holder and grab it, planning to pull my hair out of the way.  Spotting a few items of dirty clothes on the bathroom floor I snatch them up.  With towels over my shoulder, dirty clothes under my arm and my pony tail holder in my hand I head down the hall.  I notice the photo on the wall is crooked and so I reach up to straighten it.  I see that it is dusty so I turn to get the dust rag from the hall closet.  After dusting the photo I keep going, dusting the rest of the photo frames and moving on into the living room to dust there.  I pick up the magazines that are on the coffee table and start back down the hall toward our room where the magazine recycling box is in the bottom of the closet.  Right by the closet I see that the little waste basket needs to be emptied and so tie it up to take to the larger trash bin in the kitchen.  On the way there I see Bode waiting at the backdoor to go out to do his business.  I go to wrestle with the sliding glass door, realizing I am carrying wet towels, dirty socks, old magazines, a bag of trash, a dust cloth and a pony tail holder.  I empty my arms by dumping all that stuff on the nearby table.  Have I accomplished anything?  Oh yes, I did manage to dust a few things.

OK, so that hasn't happened yet as I'm still sitting in the rocker typing my blog.  It will, though.  It might not go down quite like that but it will be some form of me flitting around and likely not accomplishing all that I expect.

One of the weirdest multitasking issues I have regards brushing my teeth.  Why do I think that I must do other things while brushing my teeth?  It is really quite counter productive but I almost never JUST brush my teeth.  I do it without thinking.  Maybe it is because brushing my teeth requires only one hand and I don't think the other hand should be lazy.  I don't know but I've found myself doing dumb things while brushing my teeth.  I really do take towels to the laundry while brushing my teeth.  That is dangerous!  I could fall on the stairs and get the toothbrush jammed through my throat!  I've even discovered myself out getting the mail with the toothbrush in my mouth!  Do the neighbors really need to see all that? That is just silly but what can I do?  I don't plan it.  I don't even realize I'm doing it most of the time.

(stock photo from 123rf.com)

Ooops.  Now I am in the kitchen, computer on the counter, stirring oatmeal in between typing sentences.  That may have something to do with why my computer is held together with duct tape.  When will I learn? 


EJN said...

Funny, I thought I was the only one who had the extra hand conversation while brushing my teeth.
Love to you,

Michelle said...

I,too, have trouble just brushing my teeth. I think it is because it is a purely boring task, done entirely by rote and habit, not requiring one brain cell to accomplish!

I have even been known to feel of my toothbrush to see if it's damp to make sure I really did brush my teeth!

Maria Rose said...

I think you support the research that suggests multi-taskers accomplish less than those who focus on one thing at a time.

Maria Rose said...

P.S. I definitely do it too!

Kate W. said...

LOL! Have you ever read "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie? This post sounded just like it! :)

Susan Struck said...

Nope, most certainly not the only one.

Have a great day, JoJo!

Susan Struck said...

Oh my! I've also done that, as well as run my tongue across my teeth to see if they feel slick.

Susan Struck said...

Yes, I believe that. Although I must say that I think I used to multi-task like the wind and was much more efficient.

Susan Struck said...

No, I've not read it. However, I just looked it up and read a review. It sounds adorable and I'm thinking I may need to get it for Cordelia. Thanks!

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