Mummy multi-tasking New Zealand Blog

Mummy multi-tasking and the demise of productivity

I was phaffing about the other morning trying to do All The Things simultaneously as per usual. I wandered out of the bathroom whilst brushing my teeth, thinking that I would put the washing on.  En route to the laundry I spied an errant plate, scooped it up and headed for the kitchen. On my return to the laundry I was caught in a quandary, I had noticed we were running low on dishwash liquid and really needed to add it to the shopping list before I forgot, but the washing really needed to get started, oh yeah, and my teeth were clean by this point so I also needed to head back to the bathroom before that ” I’ve had something in my mouth for WAY too long gagging” began.
At this point I was actually rooted to the spot, turning back and forth, 180 degrees in indecision.
Enough is enough. My focus is shot and adult onset ADD is not something I’m keen on adding to my list of mental tics! It’s time to turn back the clock about a decade I think, back to a time before the crippling blight of mummy multi-tasking got its hooks into all of us. Now keep it in context, when I talk about multi-tasking, I’m not talking writing spreadsheet macros whilst working on a presentation and simultaneously translating my blog into Chinese for the wider enjoyment of my readers. I’m a stay at home mum, no, a decrease in productivity will not have a major effect on the GDP of New Zealand, but it does frustrate me enough to want to do something about it.
So, I’m going to try to slow my body and more importantly my mind down and practice a few simple things as I go through my day, task by task, moment by moment.

  1. Be still. Remain where I am. Sit.
    I tend to look at my house {and my day in fact} as a series of individual blocks, or tasks that make up the whole.  Instead of roaming the house getting caught in the pattern of ‘pick something up, put it away, repeat’ in which I end up doing laps of the house but never completely finish tidying any one room, I’m going to try to completely finish one area/task before moving on to the next {or getting distracted by FB!}.  When I – rarely – sit down, I want to make it count.  I plan on sitting and eating breakfast and lunch with the kids instead of standing in the kitchen, sitting and replying to all of my emails at once instead of pounding out one and forgetting the rest for days and making down-time phone free time.
  2. Prioritize and stay on task accordingly, kids being #1 priority!
  3. Allocate a certain amount of time for productive housework, cooking, blogging and stick to the time limit.  Knowing I don’t have all day to vacuum and mop the floors will certainly help me knock it out super fast.  This will also free up more time for things I actually enjoy doing.
  4. STOP procrastinating.  Tackling issues as soon as they arise or completing undesirable jobs asap will stop them becoming bigger than they are and taking up more mental real estate then they deserve.

Ok, I’m really good at making lists, the hard part is implementing these simple ideas into my day-to-day life.

2015, I deem you the year of Unitasking!  Who’s with me?

p.s This post took me 24 hours and approx 6 sessions of up-down computer time before I hit publish arghhhh!  It’s time to stop the madness.





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I live in rural Auckland, New Zealand. Two boys, one big, one not so big and 2 boy dogs belong to me and I them. I love Coca Cola in all of its sugar-less forms and I love you internet. I take way too many pictures of my kids and collect them all here. This is what I am doing when I should be cleaning or cooking or doing other 'useful' things.

5 thoughts on “Mummy multi-tasking and the demise of productivity”

  1. I always try and do everything while brushing my teeth and it never ends well….or I try and carry all the things downstairs at once which always results in an even bigger mess…sigh.

  2. I hear you Melissa I really do – but why do my children not get it? If they would just let me finish THIS job then I would have more time to be in the pool with them . . . But no no no they need me to do this this this oh and this and then we all get grumpy coz I'm still trying to get THIS job done and I'm not in the pool

  3. Totally with you! I do exactly the same, spend most of my day doing what you described in your first paragraph. It's hard though because there is so much to do. You're right that *thinking* about doing stuff actually takes up more time than just doing it. I do kind of enjoy multi-tasking though and feeling like I've achieved a lot in a short space of time. Tis all about avoid procrastinating for me!

  4. Oh my gosh this sounds exactly like me! Love your goals, might just steal these and try to action them myself 🙂

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