Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On Multitasking..

People (and by "people" I mean Laura) often wonder how I have time to write, work full-time (well, sort of full-time) and stay at home with the kids. Well, the key is multitasking. For example, right now I'm on a conference call, giving the kids a snack AND composing a blog post. Impressed?

Don't be.

Lately all of this multitasking leaves me wondering what I'd be like if I actually focused on one thing at a time. Let see...

If I focused solely on my (b-o-r-i-n-g) day job, I'd probably be working with clients, and (no modesty here) I'd be really good at it. I'd make a lot more money and travel a ton. People would rave about my client-facing skills, my enthusiasm, and my sparkling wit (ha!).

BUT, I'd be miserable. I'd never see the kids or Ken and there's no way I ever would have had the time to write a book.

[Real-time update, Jack just asked if the man speaking on the conference call was Daddy. Should I be concerned that the kids are learning more about corporate restructuring consulting today than say, the alphabet? Umm...probably.]

If I focused solely on being a writer, I'd probably go back to school to get my MFA. Instead of writing fun YA mysteries I'd probably write something very serious, with lots of inspired symbolism that would make you ponder the meaning of life. Oh and there would only be one adverb in the entire book and it would have layers and layers of meaning. And maybe I'd even start wearing a beret, I mean don't all serious, literary, authors wear berets?

BUT, I love writing fun YA mysteries with Laura. We started writing together because it was fun and we've vowed to keep it as fun as possible. I mean, this might sound shallow, but what's the point of doing all this if it's not fun? Plus I look really stupid in berets.

[Real-time update, Jack wants me to look at the toilet. He has a love/hate relationship with toilets. On one hand he loves flushing them, on the other he's terrified that they're going to explode. In Jack's world, toilets=active volcanoes, fun to watch, but highly unstable.]

If I focused solely on being a mom, I'd probably do all kinds of crazy stuff, like organize daily crafts and make my own baby food. My kids would never watch TV or eat anything processed. They would be perfectly dressed and potty trained by their first birthday. They'd know how to read and write by 3 and they'd never misbehave in public.

BUT, let's face it, the kids would be a little weird. I mean, if their friends mentioned Diego or Dora they'd have no idea who they were talking about. They'd be forced to smuggle in cookies and fruit snacks from other people's houses and their poor little systems would go into shock if they consumed any type of sugar. Yeah, I sort of like my little sugar addicted, TV obsessed junkies. They're fun.

[Real-time update, Mia has laid her head on my lap and is sucking her thumb and Jack is demanding lunch.]

So I guess my point is that right now it's great to be doing ALL of these things. I think it gives me a sense of balance. And yes it's totally crazy and probably leads to me being exhausted and overextended, but I sort of love it. I mean, I don't love being exhausted and overextended, but I do love everything that I do. Well, except maybe the actual work stuff, but considering I just gave away half my wardrobe I'm going to need some extra funds for shopping, so the job isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Am I the only crazy multitasker out here? Tell me I'm not alone...


PurpleClover said...

I am required to multitask...but I hate it. I can't say I do any better because usually my multitasking involves something crazy. Here is ONE HOUR of my morning:

Call hotel
Call ins. compnay
Turn on Spongebob
Clean up the cheerios
Get my daughter juice
write an email
check facebook
Grab TP to wipe a nose
Turn on Backyardigans
Respond to a chat
Start a blog post
Run to get my son and his toys out of the toilet
Grab a snack for my kids on the way back to the computer
Sit down to email my nanny about babysitting this weekend
responding to another two emails
typing my paper and emailing another student
Posting my finished blog post.
putting my daughter on the potty Cleaning the juice she spilled
Put son down for nap
And vacuum on the way back to the computer.

It just gets worse from there and
I haven't even made coffee and its already 1pm.

sraasch said...

Totally not alone. Though I don't have as much going on, just: degree-in-progress, part-time job, and novel(s). And now I'm trying to work in yoga and karate, so that'll be interesting...

I saw an organic babyfood cookbook in a specialized cooking store the other day. Made me laugh.

ElanaJ said...

I don't have time to answer because I'm blogging, posting in a forum, reading a synop for a friend and trying to figure out what to eat for lunch. Right. This. Second. ;)

Kimberly Derting said...

It's lunchtime now, and I've already gotten the kids off to school, blogged, checked my email two thousand times, worked on revisions, run to the lab for blood tests (to try to figure out why I'm so *effing* tired...duh!), and reconfirmed dentist/doctor/lunch dates for next week. BUT, I also just realized that I forgot to brush my teeth. Sweet! I'm not sure the multi-tasking thing is my gig, I'll ask the dentist on Monday!!!

Lisa and Laura said...

Let me just say that I love you guys..

AND I've never wanted to admit this in a public forum, but a few weeks ago I distinctly remember brushing my teeth before I went to bed and not being able to remember if I had brushed them in the morning. Ouch.

Little Ms J said...

I love the multi-tasking woman. This is how my day starts:

As I am turning off alarm I am using cell phone to check my personal email (east coasters will have read my blog by the time I wake up - important, pressing, urgent) in left hand while entering password on work Blackberry in right hand.

Feed dogs and begin responding to extremely high maintenance clients that are emailing me from Greece to tell me they forgot to pay their taxes. Make hubby's breakfast and lunch since he got bad blood work back and if I don't make him eat healthy he will fall over and die. Convince at least three people that the world is not coming to an end.

Ahhh... shower. Ten minutes of peace.

Put on my makeup while listening to conference calls, answering work emails and using personal cell phone to see if anyone on the west coast has seen my hi-larious blogs and responded. Turn on and off blow dryer while I double check the mute on my phone making sure no one in NYC can tell that I called in from my bathroom.

Drive to work with knees while listening to conference call on one phone and emailing colleague on the other to tell him Client X wants me to have a million dollars in cash delivered to his home in four hours. Laugh.

Hire security guard to secure our building when cash is delivered with counting machines to my office by the time I hit the line at Starbucks.

Another conference call while I turn on CNBC in my office so I can figure out my response to the thirteen vm's awaiting me.

Discuss the fall of the American economy and why no one should listen to Kramer seventeen times, make doctor's appointments, firmly remind two clients that they can't talk to my assistant that way while signing my name (which is now illegible) to documents in front of me, trusting that my assistant made sure I'm supposed to sign them as I'm looking over my shoulder watching the Dow on my TV, calling out for someone to make a reservation and making note of the fact that Bill is making his 9:30 walk to the bathroom for his morning poop, call and speak in my best "I'm trying not to yell at you" voice to an underwriter while scribbling notes for the speech I'm supposed to make at a client event that evening.

Notice my coffee is now cold.


Lisa and Laura said...

LMJ - All I have to say is that you are MAJOR. Seriously.

Lisa and Laura said...

And yes, I totally stole that line from Posh Spice, but whatevs.

Little Ms J said...

Girl, I could hear the British inflection. Well done. :-)

Solvang Sherrie said...

I'm pretty sure I was multitasking before it was even a word. It's just more efficient! Yes, sometimes I feel like I lack focus, but so long as I limit myself to doing the things I enjoy (sorry PTA, but that's a NO!) I can still accomplish a lot.

Don't call this a comeback

So it’s been a minute. Or 10. Or truthfully more like 2,102,400. At least we think that’s how many minutes there are in 3 years, but let...