Monday, September 19, 2011

Multitasking, Anyone?



Monday Musings on This 'N That

Multitasking is a relatively new word for what many of us have been doing all our lives. Merriam-Webster online dictionary says the term “multitasking” had its first know use in 1966. Wow! Some of us weren’t even alive then.

Again, from Merriam-Webster online the definition of multitasking: “the performance of multiple tasks at one time.” Well, there you have it. Keeping that definition in mind, do you think one can multitask and do all the tasks well?

Let’s see…as you read this do you have any other tasks going on? Are you using your printer; are you drying clothes in the dryer; or washing clothes in the washer; loving on your pet; looking at the dust around you and declaring the dust bunnies will be done by nightfall; sorting things in your desk drawers???

Or after you’ve read this and left your computer, do you help your child with homework while cooking dinner; while you’re doing anything are you thinking of other things you must do; are you holding the telephone between your ear and shoulder while you do things with your hands; are you texting on your mobile phone and staying in a live conversation with those around you; do you read and watch TV at the same time???

So, how do you multitask all you do and do each thing well? My mind is never blank unless I’m sleeping. I have to put each thing in its separate place and accomplish it in its own time.

I went for years without a Day Planner lying beside my computer. I finally got to the place where I really needed one. I make my lists for each day and stick to them. Some (well, several) days I don’t get to check off everything on my list. When that happens I circle the undone and draw a line from the circle into the next day’s block. Yes, some days I have several of those lines! But with my Day Planner lists I don’t have to look at the blank computer screen and try to remember what I’m supposed to do that day. My Day Planner helps to rid me of some doubts and anxieties.

So I guess instead of multitasking I compartmentalize my tasks. According to Merriam-Webster online compartmentalize means “to separate into isolated compartments or categories.” They say the word has been around since 1925. So people compartmentalized before they ever knew the work multitask. Mmmmm.

Let’s just make it simple: it all comes down to priorities. Prioritize things you have to do. That’s how my Day Planner helps me. I can see what comes first, second, etc. The definition of prioritize from Merriam-Webster online: “to list or rate (as projects or goals) in order of priority." The word “priority” was used first in 1961. Of course, some days you have to change up your list when something unexpected comes up. You have to be prepared for inevitable change and emergencies.


“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.  Let us move forward with strong and active faith."
--Franklin Delano Roosevelt



So, what tips can you share about how you multitask and how good you are at it?


Till next time … keep on smiling.

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