Monday, 9 January 2012

Misc Monday: Multitasking Madness






As I write this post, I'm also checking out books on Smashwords, emailing people, reading a book and doing up a shopping list. Oh and did I forget seriously blog stalking? To an untrained observer, this might all seem very impressive. Until they take a closer look at my output to productivity ratio. Which is very much on the low side.
        I am convinced that whoever came up with the idea of multitasking has a lot of time on their hands to get all caught up in the different tasks. Me, I have scant little time and what is supposed to be a time saving device has turned into a bit of a time guzzler instead.
        Take blog stalking for example. Any normal person would open a few pages and read a post and leave a comment right? That's too easy for me. I open all the unread blogs on my blog roll, then all the ones I find interesting on my dashboard. From there, I troll through all of them, reading, not necessarily commenting unless I know exactly what I want to say. If there's an interesting link that someone has posted, I'll click on that as well. Before I know it, there are about twenty tabs opens on my screen and I'm having trouble remember something I read ten minutes earlier. It just so happens that an alert on my phone might go off with a text message or I need to put a book on my goodreads to be read pile. And then I'll get an email which I need to respond to right away.
       I feel the same way about my TBR and also the books I have agreed to read for review. Right now I'm "reading" about six books and have another few waiting to be picked up from the library. I've taken on so many, on the assumption that I will be able to do it all. The fact of the matter is: I can't. As BJ suggested in THIS POST deadlines and taking on too much usually leads to situations of high stress. High stress leads to sickness (at least that's what I've noticed for myself). So I've decided to dispense with the multitasking farce and stick to The Hare and the Tortoise philosophy: slow and steady wins the race.
       So guys, I guess what I'm saying is that I'm going to stop trying to be more than I can be.

16 comments:

  1. Good, Lan! Read and review what you can and don't overdo the blog stalking (but do keep visiting mine, it's always nice to see your comments! ;-D) I have quite a long blogroll, but I mostly just check out recent ppsts that turn up on my dashboard, and only if I have time and they look good. Like me, you have a day job and also write. Right now, I;m multitasking myself. I have a Word document open to a short story I MUST finish, two slush stories and i really must write a couple of letters to friends who aren't on the Net. I'm also having dinner - aftyer dinner, the net goes off and the story is first priority.

    Oh, and that list of entries for my giveaway. I;m trying to work out how I can get them all on to paper so I can pull a name out of a hat. :-)

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  2. Sue: My blogroll has become massive and I try to visit every one as I always love seeing what other readers have to say. There are a few who are my favourites that I check out regardless but I tend to scroll the dashboard too. But I've decided that I will only allow myself to blog at night. No more mindless stalking constantly.

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  3. I always end up with so many tabs open and I can't find anything! I am definitely liking the slow and steady idea, I think I could get so much more quality work in if I did that more often.

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  4. OMG. I just wrote a blog post about combating this and scheduled it for next Monday. I should've scheduled it for today! :O

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  5. Yes, Lan, don't stress yourself out. It takes all the fun out of life. ;)

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  6. Yeah, that's my philosophy for this year, too. Slow and steady wins the race. So true, hopefully, since that's how I'm trying to pace myself with writing and everything else. I hope this helps you manage your life better! You need the extra time for writing your MS.

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  7. Excellent post! Right now, I have 6 windows open with 3-6 tabs open on each. I open any post I want to comment on from my reader, have my Facebook games up, a post or two I'm writing, my emails, Google+, a notepad to jot down any ideas, and Twitter. Multi-tasking is hard work! Seems the more I try to do, the less actually gets done! Good luck with the tortoise approach! I'm afraid that I'm too impatient....

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  8. And i thought I was the Queen of Endless Tabs! lol I too am coming to this realization (very late in life). I've been trying to manage my home and children in perfect order and still maintain my various social media sites AND still blog and write my novel. Its really hard to let go of the reins and delegate and let other people help. Im such a control freak! My sister is an amazing support and has taken over two of my social media things. My husband has grabbed the household and family reins and literally kicked me out the door so i will write in the public library ALL DAY. I keep fretting though about what everyone is doing and whether they are doing it all properly! I have to remind myself, no I cant do everything. And no, i dont need to do everything because I have family who can help me.
    Learning very slowly...

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  9. well i myself have only 7 tabs open ( to blogs of course) and think i probably am having more fun than if I just had one! :-)

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  10. As of right now, while I am checking up on blogs I have five tabs open. I know how you feel!

    Beth ^_^

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  11. Such great advice! When I multitask, nothing happens very efficiently. I've learned that I do best when I pour all of my focus into something.

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  12. Good for you, Lan. I kinda reached a similar conclusion recently regarding all the blogs I read. Before, I felt like I had to at least read, if not comment on, all the blogs every day. Then I finally realized I don't have TIME to do that. So now I've decreased reading blogs two or three times a week, and while I still feel kinda guilty, I'm way less stressed about it. Like you said, it's all about slow and steady.

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  13. I'd like to point out the fact that you gave me an additional tab to open up with that link up there. Now i have *counts tabs* 13 open thanks to you (hehe)
    No but really, I multitask too much too, and it never works out good. I tried to stop the tv+hw combination yesterday. It was working well until my dad came in the living room and cut the tv on. Needless to say, It took me 3 times as long to get the work done. I just love my TV!

    I am almost 100% sure that multitasking takes the same amount of time as it would if you did everything separate because your attention is so divided. It works that way for me at least.

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  14. I'm totally like that too! Especially when I have real work to do! That's usually when blog fever hits for me haha!

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  15. Stress always makes me sick, too! We can't do everything, and trying to always backfires...at least for me!

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  16. I've had to learn a few lessons about over-committing as well, though I still find myself doing it compulsively. Like trying to answer an email, print something, and take down a voice mail message all at the same time. :) I took seminar a few months ago, and the instructor conducted this experiment to show us that multi-tasking is nearly impossible for the human brain. I can't even begin to describe the experiment, but it was a good lesson for me. Good luck!

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