As January comes to a close, I thought that it would be a good time as any, contrary to the name of my blog, to reflect on something I believe to be doing quite well. That something is multitasking. Now, the debate on whether multitasking is actually a good or bad skill is up in the air. Some think that to optimize productivity, it's best to focus fully on a single task while others pride themselves on killing two birds with one stone. Also, how weird is that idiom? What psychopath thought it would be fun killing birds at all?!
But back to multitasking. For the most part, working on two tasks (I don't think my brain could handle more) at the same time has served me well. The only downside I have perceived, and it's a biggie, is that I'm not the best listener if I'm working while talking on the phone (sorry, Michael). However, it is also difficult for me not to do something while on the phone so generally what does work is doing what I call, "mindless tasks." These are things I do on a daily basis that are on a habit loop (you can learn all about this in The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg), meaning I can perform them without really thinking about them. It's passive engagement, like walking to your fridge when you're hungry or whatever it is you do each morning as soon as you get up.
So, that's number one. When you're talking on the phone with someone, do something else that is passive either mentally or physically. Walking while talking is great, too, or wiping down your grubby-pawed laptop.
Another suggestion for multitasking that is my absolute favorite is listening to an audiobook while I clean. I have an epic 2-hour cleaning session once a week and I listen to an audiobook while doing that. January isn't even over yet and I'm on my fifth book. Audiobooks aren't only good for when you're cleaning but are great for short bursts of free time, too. I listen while I shower, while getting ready for bed, making breakfast, and right before bed if I'm just lying awake.
My third tip for multitasking is pretty simple. I don't think of it as work but it is necessary and that is spending time with my cats. Yes, I am serious. As I am sure all of you know, a happy pet is a happy nest. And if you have a pet, you know that they tend to prefer one room over all the rest. It's not often that my cats chill in my office, but if they do, I have areas cleared-off where they can hangout. Most of the time they're in the living room though, so I go to them to make sure they get attention. Sometimes I'll bring my laptop and hangout on the couch or I'l take a break from work and read while they lounge.
And that, my friends, is how you show two cats love in one scenario.
And if you're curious, this is what I have read/listened to thus far this year:
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (Nonfiction, Self-help)
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Adult Fiction)
Puddin' by Julie Murphy (YA Fiction, companion to Dumplin', also pretty entertaining)
The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay (Adult Fiction, OMG, the ending had my stomach in knots).
Currently reading: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green (YA Fiction)
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