Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Some people are able to work systematically. If they have ten tasks to do, they begin at number one, complete it, move on to number two and so on. I am not like that.

I am easily distracted. Squirrel!
From the Disney Pixar movie "Up!"

If I have ten tasks to do in a allotted amount of time, I will complete them in a haphazard manner until the time runs out, working a bit on one then moving to another then back to the first then starting on the fifth. And if I only complete eight or nine, the ones I leave incomplete could very well have been the first ones on the list. Let's face it, nobody can really get a specific number of tasks done in a specific amount of time. I just don't think it's possible to always allot the exact amount of time required for everything. I can't even get this blog done without checking my email after I write a paragraph or stopping halfway to make a pot of coffee. The truth is, I started this blog entry weeks ago and it has sat in my Drafts folder ever since.

I'm not saying that distractions are a bad thing. I like to think of myself as a multi-tasker, able to work on many tasks at the same time, or at least very close to each other. There is a theory that says the human mind cannot actually multi-task but some people can become very good at moving between tasks quickly and efficiently so it appears as though they are doing two things at once. I like to think of myself as one of those people.

Others may disagree, especially when I give them a blank stare instead of an answer to their question. But they don't live inside my head. When it seems as though there is no ATP production going on inside my skull, there is actually a myriad of activity. I could have any number of thoughts occupying my attention. For instance, I may be composing a paragraph for my book, creating my next journal or blog entry, trying to remember the name of an actor I like, figuring out if I have enough clean underwear to last the week so I don't have to do laundry, taking inventory of my fridge contents from memory and coming up with a balanced meal to prepare later in the day, listing off my work tasks and their deadlines and then prioritizing them accordingly, fantasizing about my amazing boyfriend, replaying a conversation that went horribly wrong, wondering what to do for the weekend, worrying about money, or tossing a mental coin over whether I will have tea or water to quench my thirst.

All of this can quite easily be derailed by a phone call, email, text, conversation, look, loud noise or need to pee. And then it starts all over again with my brain asking questions or perusing ideas to reconstruct the list it once had bouncing around. The quick brown fox...I wonder what idiotic thing Mitt Romney said today...who was that guy in that movie where he kissed the girl right before he...I could make a salad for dinner if the tomatoes are ripe...don't forget to email the Dean after the enrollments are done...I wish I was kissing Richard...and on and on and on.

Multi-tasking. It's not for everyone.

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