Multi-tasking: Less tasking than you think.

Making a grocery list:

Let’s see, milk, eggs, bread… do we need peanut butter. Yep. Are we out of hummus? Let me check, hm. This fridge is embarrassing. I’ll just clean this shelf. Well, I can’t get it clean enough, I’ll just take it out and scrub in the sink. Well shoot, I’m out of Dawn, put that on the list.

“Anya, can you get Riley? I’ll get his bottle ready.”

Wonder what we should have for dinner? I’ll put something in the crockpot now.

“Logan, stop touching your sister.”

I’ve got to get this shelf back in the fridge. WTH, how was this even in there? This is impossible. It will not fit. Oh, light bulb out in the fridge. I’ll go get a new one.

Hm, this closet needs tidying.

Crap, I forgot about my roast searing, welp, it’s burnt. I just scrape off the burnt parts, the crock pot will take care of the rest, hopefully.

“Logan, really? Just keep your hands to yourself.”

“Donnie, can you come put this shelf in? UGH!”

Ew! Maggie just puked on the floor again. “Who’s giving her table food?!”

Shoot, it’s 11, I need to get to the store before Donnie has to leave for volleyball. Back to my list, bananas, garlic, oh forget it, I’ll just wing it.

“Anya, did you study for your vocabulary test? Let’s study real fast.”

This is a common weekend scenario at our house. This is me, multitasking. Really, it’s a lot more multi than tasking. Half the stuff I start, I don’t finish because other tasks are screaming for my attention and I never get back to it.

Turns out though, “I’m not alone! It’s not just me! I don’t have ADD and I’m not crazy!”

Get this book, guys. Your wives will thank you. (or me)
Get this book, guys. Your wives will thank you. (or me)

This is very common for women in general (according to the Understanding Women workshop I’m currently listening to). Our environments are screaming for our attention. We notice things that need to be done. This is why, in my case, I’m especially cranky when things are out of place at home. I’m actually not a very neat person, so I didn’t realize that this was a cause of my crankiness until now. I AM noticeably happier and less stressed when my house is clean and my bed is made. It’s like there are fewer tasks screaming for my attention and I can chill out a little on the multi-tasking.

It’s easy to say, “I’m a working mom, I’m busy, There’s a lot to do and that’s why I’m stressed.” But why not get tasks done with less stress? To do that, I (or Donnie) have to quiet all those other annoying tasks. This week Donnie cleaned the house every day and made sure stuff was picked up off the floor (he’s good I know-I think it’s because our anniversary is tomorrow). So, because all of that was done, I was able to focus on the kids, their homework and just enjoy them (with less stress) for the few hours I get with them every day. Anyway, clean house = happy, less stressed Danielle.

Oh! It also helps to make lists. Not grocery lists. To do lists. I have to force myself to focus on one task at a time so I don’t start out mopping the floors and end up outside cleaning the gutters while my mop water is sitting there, getting cold on a half-finished floor.

With multi-tasking, eventually, I do get things finished. For example, I got groceries the other day. Mission accomplished. But when I have help to quiet all those other screaming tasks, I’m able to focus on one (or a couple) task at a time, stresslessly (yeah, that’s a word now).

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