Multitasking is great. In theory. I used to think I was awesome at multitasking and studied better that way. I used to think I could watch tv while I was studying. Don’t laugh.
I thought that if I switched between subjects or tasks, they would all get done without me sitting in front of one for hours, drowning in the monotony of getting that single task done.
It turns out that multitasking actually doesn’t achieve what I thought it would. In fact, it now has the opposite effect on me ( unless I’m doing something like editing with the television on, in which case I have to have seen that show before or I miss half of it. So I guess that leads me back to not being able to fully multitask).
And now that I’m trying to keep the practice of forcing myself to write daily, I find that multitasking means I spend all day trying to come up with a topic or trying to hash out a blog post and never actually get it done. Well, I do get it done, clearly. But it takes setting aside everything and making myself stare at a blank screen.
If I don’t, I end up getting to play with the kids, doing laundry, checking emails, checking Instagram, checking my phone, and then remembering I just checked Instagram and emails and there’s nothing left to check, cooking, cleaning the smudge off of my glass desk, cleaning the crumbs off the floor in the kitchen (and everywhere else), noticing things that I would love to fix, noticing cracks, noticing anything that isn’t completely perfect (and there is a lot in my apartment). And yes, I consider “noticing” a multitasking activity.
The one activity I can do at the same time as doing work to truly be productive and plug through my work is listening to music that can fall into the background or listening to music with a driving beat. Right now, that beat comes from a DJ my dad introduced me to named Ben Böhmer.
And yet, as I write this, I’m watching Henry drop, pick up, chew, and drop his sister’s scrunchi. But we can’t always have the perfect writing scenario, and I’d say that my distraction is pretty cute.