Multitasking is not a new thing for most of us, but women have fine-tuned this act to its highest level. I have read Writing-World’s Moira Allen’s article on the subject, (http://www.writing-world.com/coffee/coffee78.shtml), and found myself nodding in agreement. Yes, yes and yes. Did that, done that. How else does one get through the research, writing, filing, printing, emails, etc. while doing the other mundane chores of laundry, cooking, grocery shopping and oh yes, most important of all, keeping Hubby happy? However, I didn’t think there was such a fine line between real multitasking and simply doing a multitude of tasks. I think Life is a big multitasking activity. The end result is supposed to give us extra time to do our anticipated leisurely, fun-times—right? After all, how else can we squeeze out a few more precious hours to do what we want to do.
As an example, today I’m doing laundry, baking cookies and writing out my grocery list. These tasks are accomplished while the wash is doing its various cycles, the cookie dough is being mixed and plonked onto cookie sheets. As the first batch is slipped into the oven, the wash is tossed into the dryer. And while the cookies are baking and the laundry is in the dryer, I can scribble out my grocery list. By that time, the first batch of cookies are out of the oven and the second batch is popped in. I still have 20 minutes in the dryer and 18 minutes for that last batch of cookies, time enough to check my email. By the time the laundry is folded and the cookies cooling, it’s time for a trip to the supermarket for meal fixings for the next two days while thinking of something for lunch for Hubby and I. After lunch, we’re off for a walk to clear our minds and see what’s happening along our walking route. We meet a beautiful Norwegian Elkhound, two mini-poos, a gorgeous Irish setter and an aloof English sheepdog–all walking their owners.
Home once more, I check the time–2 whole hours before its time to cook dinner. Glorious! I dive into my den, settle into my comfy chair, open my latest work-in-progress and. . .yep, you guessed it,. . .blank! My brain was taking a nap. Yes, I did multitask and managed to save two whole hours to craft my fiction, but my creative brain went on a holiday. Nonetheless, I did canoodle around with the computer and added two pages of inventive nonsense. The point being that I did put something down on paper. Perhaps, the beginnings of another story. I like to think my file folder of “Great Beginnings” is bursting with great starts that will eventually evolve into great stories.
Tonight I will make sure my pen and pad are close by when I go to sleep. I’m positive I will be zapped awake in the middle of the night with some inspiring bits and pieces that I will want to remember in the light of day.
Multitasking is helpful but creativity is an elusive muse. I’m convinced it takes more than an hour or two of saved time to capture its essence.
(Originally posted on Red Room, edited and reposted on Chocofigbee. . .)
2 thoughts on “Sigh. . .Multi-tasking”
I’m fortunate. I do the same sort of tasks as you, and plan around those pockets of time, but that somehow stimulates my muse. I also, though, always leave something for the gods – food, beer, wine, coffee, whatever, a little is not consumed so the gods can enjoy some, too. Maybe that helps. I don’t know, but I’m not going to change it.
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Thanks Michael—There are definitely multitasking guys too AND, I forgot to mention that “secret” part of the ritual–chocolate, mini-doughnuts, chocolate, big doughnuts, chocolate. . . whatever works 🙂
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