Monday, November 01, 2010

One thing at a time

Most things I do, I do slowly. I have been called poky and sloth-like (hopefully with affection). I like to think that this trait is partly because I'm very careful and thoughtful. Or else maybe everyone else is just going too fast.

I am usually content to move about my daily routines with the urgency of a slug but I admit I would like to get more done in a day. I thought the best way to stay slow but get stuff done was to multitask. For the past few months I've been drawing while listening to the RadioLab podcast or flexing my butt cheeks while writing emails or cooking and watching a tutorial on how to use Photoshop.

Turns out, multitasking is not for everyone and I am one of the people it is not for. I was unable to successfully divide my attention into multiple tasks. I was half watching an episode of Bones and missing vital mystery-solving clues all the while my sauce was bubbling over and needed a stir. I don't think I got more done. I think what I did I did less well.

So I'm ditching the counterproductive multitasking habit in favor of being fully present in all my daily activities. When I go out to plant my crocus bulbs, I will not be listening to an intermediate Italian lesson on my headphones. Planting bulbs is plenty entertaining for me. Maybe I'm simple minded but same goes for stirring sauce.

If I am stuck doing things slowly, I may as well savor what I'm doing.

This post brought to you at a rate of 30 words per minute.


Jessica said...

Elise this is exactly what I have been thinking and feeling and reading about lately. I am also slow and I think it's okay just hard sometimes. I give myself anxiety because I expect to get more done in a day than is possible for me. I like the advice one step at a time. With so many options of what I could be doing I get bogged down just thinking about what to do and then I don't get anything done.

Ashley Anna Brown said...

Yes! Slow down! I think everyone needs to! I, too, have a tendency to make a daily To Do list that is far too large and overwhelming, and then I put all this pressure on myself about having not worked enough or accomplished enough. I think this is especially present in artists/creative types because we can't just work a ho-hum day job, then come home, have dinner, watch tv, go to bed, and feel satisfied. We need to find the time to create something amazing in that 24 hrs too! And it's so hard! Justin and I have this conversation all the time. But you are amazing Elise, and do so many wonderful things! (& you too Jessica!!) So keep moving at your own pace!

Daphne said...

I love this image. I wish I was allowed to slow down more, it feels like after working 8 hours there's an awful lot to squeeze into the remaining few until bedtime. And usually after being active all day there is not much motivation left to give an hour or two to that unfinished painting. But when you do, it feels oh so nice!

Anonymous said...

Elise! I'm so glad that you are blogging again. I love your humor.

Elise of Argyle Whale said...

Jessica, you have the world's best reasons for not getting so much done. I think you are doing a good job.

Ashley, what a curse we bear! I think you are amazing too. Thanks for not making me feel like I'm ambling around.

Hi Daphne! I definitely need to remind myself how good it feels to make things because after a day's work, it is hard to have any brainpower left. Hope you are finding a good balance. Say hi to the bunns.

Maeg, nice to hear from you! Thanks for still reading despite my epic inconsistency. :)