Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Multitasking Mama

A friend of mine recently blogged about taking a Monotasking Challenge. What? A monotasking challenge, where for one day (or hour) you put your complete focus on the tasks at hand, each in its own turn.

After reading that post, I started thinking about it. I thought a little about it while I played a game on my iPhone. I thought about it some more while I was loading the dishwasher after supper, between segments of The Biggest Loser. I thought about it even more while I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed. And it was still on my mind this morning while I was getting the boys' breakfast ready, putting on a load of laundry, and preparing their books for school.

I've been multitasking for so long, I don't know if I can monotask! I do know if I monotask in my rocking chair, I'll go to sleep. It happens every time. It's almost like I must keep my hands busy while my brain is busy (or pretending to be) or I'm not functioning.

Let's look at my average day:
*I pray (usually) while I shower.
*I read while I brush my teeth.
*I check my email while I make my bed.
*I read/answer emails while I scan news headlines on the Internet.
*I read in the mornings before the boys get up - between rounds of Words with Friends on my iPhone.
*While the boys are getting up, I'm fixing their breakfast, getting the day's laundry going, and putting away clean dishes that dried overnight. Between bites of my breakfast, I'm wiping the counter and getting the boys' school books ready for the day.
*While the boys are working on independent work, I load the dishwasher, keep the laundry on track, do any other chores, and help with any problems they have with their assignments. Then they play while I check their work and get their next subjects ready. This same pattern continues throughout the school day.
*After they've finished with their work, I sit down for a little while to rest and read or play a little on my iPhone. Then it's back to work on whatever is on the agenda for the day: vacuuming, sweeping/mopping, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, etc. All while that is going on, I'm thinking over what I'm blogging, what I'm reading, the next week's menu and grocery list, plans for the weekend, etc. I stop here and there to email someone or check Facebook or grab a quick snack or blog a bit (like now, while the boys' bathroom and entry are ready and waiting to be mopped).
*In the evenings, I cook supper and grade the boys' afternoon work or play a little Words with Friends. After supper, I usually watch something on TV while I clean the kitchen. I'll read while getting the boys rounded up for showers, homework, and bedtime.

And on and on and on. It's "normal".

I'm so tired when I go to bed at night that I usually drift off immediately - even if I ended up taking a nap sometime that afternoon. If I happen to wake during the night, I'll usually go back to sleep. But on those occasions when I just can't, I'll start thinking through my prayer list and praying for whoever comes to mind. Before long, I'm off in dreamland again. Too soon, it all begins again.

So, in contemplating Leslie's "Monotasking Challenge", I keep seeing where I could monotask, but I wonder if I'd ever get it all done. Then when I think about it a little more, I think how much a better job I'd be able to do if I would just focus on that one thing and not divide my attention.

I might take her up on her challenge. Not for a day just yet, but I think I could do it for an hour.

Now it's time to mop those floors while I think on this some more...

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