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.