Are you a multitasker or a uni-tasker?
Most women I know tend to veer toward the multitask side of the equation, myself included. But I have begun to wonder if by multitasking I am doing many jobs half-assed rather than one singular chore well at a time.
This morning I was drying my hair, applying what little makeup I wear, and blogging on my laptop all at the same time. I am a master of dexterity and possessor of a keen mind, right?
Of course all of that was only possible before the dryer cord pulled all of the hair products into the sink, powder spilled all over the counter, my keyboard became stained with foundation, and I slipped across the wet bathroom floor as I scurried to clean it all up. My great strategy for increasing productivity devolved into a tangled wet mess that left me bruised, dirty, and added at least a half an hour to my morning routine.
Last Friday morning, I needed to run out to pick up a challah for Shabbat dinner. I figured that I could knock a few other things off of my to-dos, so I made a list. (Classic multitasker behaviour.) I headed to the bank, the drugstore, and finally to Sobey's in order to fulfill the items on said list. I came home feeling very self-satisfied only to discover that the only thing I had forgotten to purchase was the f***ing challah. You see, I hadn't thought to write the word challah on my list because I figured that it was the raison d'être of the entire excursion, so why bother? I had to head back out to get the challah, once again adding at least a half an hour to my plans.
It might be easy to dismiss my clumsiness and forgetfulness as age, but frankly I think it is symptomatic of another problem. I am wondering if my mind has become far too cluttered to handle the multitasking I used to achieve with relative ease. I am forever stuck in a latent stress mode over a myriad of chronic issues that cannot easily resolve themselves. No matter how much I meditate, no matter how hard I search for tension releases, no matter how strenuously I exercise, there are and will always be backburner questions that continually invade my subconscious. This isn't unique. We all have some version of the same truth. The decluttering of one's mind is often a much more difficult task than the decluttering of one's physical space. I can't have a garage sale to rid myself of the flotsam and jetsam scattered throughout my psyche.
The Husband is a uni-tasker and has always had tremendous problems handling more than one chore at a time, so he doesn't even try. When I told him of my little mishaps, he took it as validation of his way of being and challenged me to take a step back and slow down the process. I probably can't alleviate all of the stress, but perhaps I can achieve an easier coexistence. At the very least, I can simplify enough so that I don't end up on the bathroom floor with wet makeup all over my clothes.