Wake up, check my phone, start the coffee, fire up the computer, put dogs out, let dogs in, log into Facebook, check email, open Photoshop, email clients, start writing a blog, feed cat, check to be sure teens are up for school, visit Pinterest, click some blogs, and on and on and on, and I’m only 15 minutes into the day. Sounds like I’m on top of things, right?
And I wonder why I’m so exhausted at the end of every day. I’m running mental marathons, trying to juggle 50 things at the same time, thinking I’m getting so much done, and yet I end the day with an overflowing TO-DO List with only bits of each item finished. Something seems wrong.
I remember years ago when the whole multitasking thing became a big deal. No longer were you a good potential employee for knowing how to do the job well. Now you needed to know the actual job, plus be able to do other people’s jobs, plus be able to do many things at the same time. GAH! Are we tired yet? Why does anyone think this is actually working?
As a business owner and writer and artist, I am constantly working, true, but aren’t I making my life more difficult by trying to process pictures AND answer the phone AND post on Facebook AND do the laundry AND write the book AND answer client emails? I think so.
I started reading “The Creative Habit” by Twyla Tharp last week and this multitasking thing is what hit me the hardest. I immediately saw the words GUILTY! flashing in neon. I always run into this issue where I think I have to put something on the back burner because I don’t have time for it right now, but I think if I were much more honest with myself, I’d realize the time is certainly there and having more than one project at a time is fine and okay, but it’s the trying to do them literally at the same time that is bogging me down. Writing a paragraph on this blog, for example, is then interrupted by a batch of photos finishing a process, so I leave this and go to that, and then I remember I need to update the grocery list, and I leave the photos, and then I feed the dogs on the way to the grocery list, and I’m also stopping to see what that text message says.
I’m distracted under the guise of multitasking, and I think I’m getting a ton accomplished because I am multitasking.
But I’m really just tired. Very, very tired.
Only I can make a change. Just me. No one is making me work like this, nor can anyone tell me how to change. I’m the one who has to do it, and now I have to wonder what that looks like. What would it be like to have my list, sure, but to work on just one thing at a time? Better a half-finished list of projects than a full list of nothing completely done.
*This blog post was left unfinished 2 days ago when my landlord called to inform me the house was getting appraised and he’d like me to have it looking very nice. Erm… On my list that day: blog. What I did while blogging? Processed photos, cleaned house, and texted. So, my point is proven. Yet another unfinished item on my To-Do List.