Yes, I found myself the other day folding laundry in my underwear while keeping an eye on the birthday cake in the oven. I normally do not fold laundry in a state of undress. I was multitasking. And making a hash of it.
I didn’t manage to finish folding the laundry and I was cold (yes, I live in California, but we are having what passes for a cold spell here right now).
I was in a rush to get to the grocery store (not sure why, it was my day off).
The cake turned out raw in the middle. That hasn’t kept us from eating it; it still tasted good.
The point is that multitasking really doesn’t work. We women, especially, pride ourselves on our multitasking skills.
But in my case, I end up doing a half-assed job of the various things I am trying to do, feel stressed out while doing them, and don’t save any time.
As some of you may know, I am a fan of the Greater Good Science Center (see The Art and Science of Awe). Last year, I went to a talk and book signing by sociologist and Greater Good Science Fellow Christine Carter, Ph.D.
Dr. Carter is a wise woman.
Here is a link to her article How to Only Do Things You Actually Want to Do. Who wouldn’t want to follow that advice?!
She also teaches an online course, The Science of Finding Flow, through the Greater Good Science Center. I am going to sign up, but I will finish what I am doing first.
But apparently I didn’t listen well enough to Dr. Carter at the talk. (I was probably multitasking during her talk, reading e-mail or some such nonsense.) And I ended up folding laundry, in my underwear, in the cold, while underbaking the birthday cake.
There will always be more laundry to fold.
I love cooking, so why not bake the cake and enjoy the process?
So, let’s quit multitasking, slow down, and enjoy a cup of coffee in a real cup instead of that darned travel mug.
I always manage to dribble coffee down my shirt if I drink it while driving anyway.
At this moment, I am sort of multitasking: sitting in the foster cat room, playing with kittens, writing this, and drinking my coffee (in a real mug). But those are all things I love to do. I am not at all stressed out. And I think I am doing a pretty good job.
I found my flow.