How was your weekend? With the passing of my grandpa on the 5th, I’ve had to work through some things there. Still am. My mom and aunt got back from out-of-state, getting things sewn together with the estate (at least as much as it could be).
So anyway, they got back from the trip yesterday, and we talked. About the trip, about their dad (my grandpa), and things like that.
So here I was, thinking about Grandpa, the trip and all the details (including the bits from the memorial service that I hadn’t been able to attend), and what-have-ya. With a lot of those thoughts in my head, I went over to the sink to start dishes. I grabbed the stockpot, dumped it, and ended up flushing one of those green bristly fuzzy things you do dishes with down the toilet.
Yeah. Thing is, I usually dump water out of the stockpot down the toilet if meat has been defrosted with water in there (the stockpot, not the toilet). The stockpot had a bath with hot soapy water already, but I’d let it sit overnight, and didn’t check it again before dumping it. Then as I was dumping, I saw the green thing hit the toilet water.
On the bright side, this pad was worn, so it went down with no problem (I even gave the toity a flush just to be sure).
Minus the dish scrubber, what’s the lesson here?
Well, for me personally, it’s that multi-tasking (or even multi-thinking) is bad. If I don’t focus on one thing at a time, I find I’ve had a tendency to be overwhelmed and frustrated. Or distracted.
I’ve written about multitasking before, but I’d like to add to that idea with a tip or two about what I do while I’m not multitasking.
I always have a list on hand to help me do things, so I know what to do, and when. If I have a deadline for an edit or what-have-ya, that goes on my dry-erase calendar or inside a box in my monthly planner book (sometimes both).
It’s also why I have notebooks for brainstorming fiction ideas and client ideas/questions, notebooks for to-do lists and daily activities, and notebooks for journaling. Yes, I write with pen and ink in the digital age. (I think I would feel a little weird dictating a draft by talking to my smartphone in a crowded room—but I’ve yet to try it).
And as a writer, I usually get absorbed into a task, and try to give full concentration to things (and yes, speaking to me while I’m writing is a bad, bad idea, unless you get my attention first. It also helps if I turn toward you before you start to talk with me). This also spills over into any concentration-heavy work, writing or not (part of the reason why I thought that when I was doing dishes I could get away with letting my mind drift in too many different directions at once).
Is that a cop-out? A distracted writer? Most likely. But I am trying to fix it moving forward. I want to be part of the world around me too—not only part of the worlds I create for myself, or work I’ve written for clients. Life is more than work.
What about you? Are you able to keep several tasks in your head at once without a list (good for you)? Drop me a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
So if you’re ever overwhelmed or doing too much at once, stop, take a breath, and remember me flushing that dish scrubber (forget the toilet, though).
Have a laugh, and then move ahead.
Until next time,