Thursday, November 05, 2009

A New Thought Process

I am always mulit-tasking. When I'm in line at the grocery store I am trying to figure out which errand should happen next. When I'm changing a diaper I am thinking about how I'm going to get both kids dressed in the most efficient way so I don't have to go up and down the stairs 12334576 times (that one never works.) When I'm driving, I am making phone calls. When I'm 5 minutes early for choir, I am writing out a grocery list. When the kids are in the bath, I'm wiping the bathroom counter. When I have 10 extra minutes before preschool pick-up I try to find a quick errand I need to complete. When I'm cleaning, I am meal planning. When I'm cooking, I'm thinking of what needs to be cleaned. When I'm doing laundry, I'm thinking about how I need to clean out the closets. When I'm watching TV at night, I'm trying to shop for Christmas gifts online.

God.

How annoying.

I know we women are great multi-taskers. We have twice as many connections between the two sides of our brain as men do. But it seems a great portion of my "tasking" is actually thinking about the next task. Or planning a way to make the next task more efficient. Not actually DOING anything. And, in the process, ruining the current thing I'm doing. Am I really accomplishing anything with the constant mental barrage?

Yesterday I wondered what it would be like to just....turn off that portion of my brain. Just BE. Not to always be thinking through the next step, the next errand, the next chore. When it is shower time, just take a shower. When it is time to grocery shop. Just do that. Don't be thinking about how I need to call the pediatrician. Or planning what to buy who for Christmas. Just do that later. Procrastinate my thoughts. Is this possible?

I'm giving it a whirl. Perhaps right before the holidays isn't the best time to try this out. Or maybe, just maybe, it is the perfect time.

8 comments:

Swistle said...

I am split: part of me doesn't want to speak against the zen vibe, particularly if it does end up working (I like to back the winning team), but part of me wants to say, "DUDE, NO! Thinking ahead is the key to success! Being in the moment is not for people who have responsibilities other than being there!"

Katie said...

It isn't that I won't think about things and won't do them...it is more that I will try to stop thinking all the time and just enjoy. I'll do those things when it is TIME to do them...Or, maybe even just ONCE a day. Turn off the mental stuff and just chill. (It is SO unlike me it will never stick. Ever. But I just want to be more relaxed in my head!)

Angie said...

Oh, can people do that. I want to be able to just BE.

lisa said...

My brain works the SAME WAY. And sometimes I get so frustrated....the worst is when I actually try and play with the kids on the floor....I can sit there for about five minutes, giving them my undivided attention before I think "oh- I should just switch that load of laundry and then come right back." Except on the way to switch the load of laundry I see two sippy cups and figure on my way to the kitchen I should throw them in the dishwasher, and then I'll notice the paper towel holder is empty and figure while Im in there- I should fill it. So I'll run upstairs to get a new roll of paper towels and then find clothes on the floor and figure I should put them on the hamper. Meanwhile not only have I totally neglected the kids....I don't even remember what I was doing in the first place. Oh right, switch laundry. Here all this time I thought I just had a hard time staying focused on one thing....now I find out its really just "multi-tasking."

Here are the two things that help me/my thought process: when Nathan is at school and Mackenzie is napping I do a general cleanup, but beyond that I ask myself "is this something I can do when the kids are awake?" I try and do the things that need to be done without children during that time (ironing, dorking around on the internet).

I make a list of things that have to be done (that way I don't have to keep THINKING about them) and when Im feeling overwhelmed I bargain with myself and set a timer. I'll set it for 20 minutes and go whole hog doing whatever needs to be done, picking up/vacuuming/floor scrubbing whatever (and its AMAZING how much you can get done when really trying) and then I feel much more relaxed/free because I've gotten a lot accomplished. Then I go back to Facebook. :)

Angela said...

I am right there with you. Sometimes I catch myself talking out loud about the next things I need to get done. As if repeating it will help me remember exactly what I need to do. Lists sometimes help....but only if I remember where I put it.

Jen said...

Amen. I do NOT know how to just BE! Let me know if you figure it out. And Lisa is right on, too! I was totally tracking on her comment.

Gotta go. Need to change 2 diapers, put dinner in the ov en, pull the laundry out of the dryer to make room for a new load...

Meg said...

Honestly, I think that's just how the majority of women work. I've talked to more guys who say they can just sit and not think about anything...which I have never, even back to my earliest memory, NEVER experienced. The whole idea is crazy. And guys don't seem to have any problem AT ALL just sitting around, watching tv and that's all. Which is why they need us. When I have to answer stupid questions like "list some of your hobbies" I swear the only thing I can think of is "getting shit done". I'd rather do that then pretty much anything else.

Anonymous said...

If you weren't mulit-tasking, you would probably be multi-tasking.