Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Marvelous Multitasker

Several things have happened recently to cause me to look at a few things from a different perspective.  One of the online groups I belong to had a post recently about various approaches to housecleaning. My reply to that post stated that I've tried various approaches and just can't seem to make any of them stick/work for me. I've tried cleaning the whole house in one day, I've tried breaking it into smaller chunks to do on a daily basis. Neither keeps my home clean!

A series of events last week led me to the conclusion that I am not the marvelous multitasker that I thought. I've always kinda known that when I get busy doing something, I forget about the other things that need to be done.  My most notable issue is spending too much time at the computer.  Not all of it is for fun, there are work/business/family tasks that need to be completed here too, but it's with the fun stuff that I lose track of the day. 

About 10 days ago my hard drive gave out completely.  While waiting for HP to send a new one, I used Tony's computer, but it's not the same as using my own.  It's not "mine" and it's S.L.O.W.!  So I did the bare necessities and walked away.  During those few days, my son and I were getting along marvelously.  I associated that with the fact that he doesn't have to see his bio parents anymore and hadn't seen them since the end of January, something I had predicted would happen.  Tony noticed that I was more relaxed, not so high strung, and able to roll with things better.  Again, I attributed that to son and I getting along better as a result of severance.  The next day, a Family Support Specialist was here visiting and made almost identical comments.  We agreed that it was likely a result of him not seeing bio parents anymore.

About the same time these comments were being made, my new hard drive arrived and I installed it.  The next day I spent hours installing all the programs I have and personalizing everything, so my focus was on getting that done.  Guess what?  My son started irritating me again.  Uh-oh.  Is the cause my lack of attention to him?  Were we getting along so well because I spent more time (click to read about another mom's solution) with him?  Ugh!  Not easy to contemplate. 

As I look back I see that I was enjoying our time together too, so why not continue that way?  Because that was more like a vacation and this is more like real life.  Can't there be some middle ground though?  I already feel overwhelemed with the quantity and variety of tasks that I need to do on a regular basis, how can I carve out more time to spend with my son, so that we are both happier (and possibly healthier)?  Here's what I've come up with, noting that I am not the Marvelous Multitasker:

I can do several things within the SAME category at once, but my focus stays on that category. For instance-I love to chat with my friends at said group, but while I'm doing that I'm updating posts, researching something on another site, checking email, stuff like that. All those tasks are centered around the computer. What I'm NOT doing while chatting is housework, outside chores, or playing with my son. So with this new(er) revelation I've decided to give each day a major focus. What I can't decide is if each day should also have a minor focus. That might look like this: Monday is grocery shopping/meal planning/basic food prep day-Major Focus. Should it also have a Minor Focus of tidying our weekend mess? (or whatever) The reason I can't make up my mind is that each day also has to have its Daily Tasks. Those things that have to get done every day, regardless of whether they fit the Major Focus. Like eating, meal prep, feeding animals, milking animals, collecting eggs; and the fun things like checking up on my online friends. Is having a Minor Focus defeating the point of having a separate goal each day?  I might just need to try both ways and see how it works out.