I used to be pretty proud of my multitasking talents. I was one of those "Yeah, I’m a girl and I can do EVERYTHING at once and won’t be told I can’t, either" types. Now, while I still can do a lot of things, I’ve learnt that I am MUCH better at them when they are done one at a time. Apart from singing loudly and driving (I can still multitask that no problem–much to the embarrassment of my small people) I get ‘jobs’ done one at a time.
That doesn’t mean I can’t get lots of different things done in one day, but I will now do them one at a time. Sometimes I have to cheat a little and have a notepad by my side so when I have a ‘something else’ idea or I remember a ‘to do’ I can jot it down and carry on. What can happen if I don’t do that is I have the idea or remember a ‘to do’ and go off and do it right away... then I end up with 5 ‘to do’s all happening simultaneously. Not a good idea... I’ll spot a tab open on my browser 2 hours later and think "Oh yeah, I was doing that"!
I’m not going to pretend I am some kind of productivity ninja BUT I know I get a lot more done when I put up boundaries and don’t try and ‘blend’ activities. This isn’t just for multitasking things to do either but about working, not working, family time, time off, other things.
When I try and work with small people around, even if they are doing their own thing I end up half working and half listening out for them, or sorting out something that comes up–there’s always a snack demand or disagreement with a sibling on the horizon! During the school holidays this is definitely put to the test. But I’ve learnt (OK, so I keep ‘learning’ this) that it’s better for me to have a ‘work day’ where small people are out of the house (my office is at home) than try and multitask being Thinging me and Mumming me half on half off during the day.
So my tip is to not blend, but have boundaries instead. The best blending comes from having each ingredient and activity separate (even if they are close together) and not trying to do them all at once...
Want to talk more about this?
Absolutely agree about having boundaries and keeping activities separate. Our children notice when we’re not fully present so it’s much better for my frustration levels to not try and mix the two.