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Daily madness

So, what’s up with you guys? Are you caught up in holiday parties, or credit card bills that have skyrocketed, or any good gossip? Come on, help a girl out …

As you know, I’ve started a new contract. Usually, I work on a whole bunch of small contracts all at once and juggle them about. In other words, I’m used to multi-tasking like a mad woman, then sometimes looking at the clock at 3pm and wondering if there is anything in the cupboard worth munching on for lunch while taking a 5 minute break at the kitchen counter. Then I go back to doing this until my daughter gets off the bus. All the while wearing flannel pants of course (yes, Ken, you ARE missing out).

But now. Well, I’m on-site now. So you already know what happened to my flannel-pant-wearing days. But also, the network here does not allow me to check my regular email. It’s been a really twitchy few days for me … my hubby always says I’m addicted to my email and I never disagreed with him, I just didn’t realize how painful it was to be without it. I mean, even in Cuba, I managed to check on my email once a day. 

Also, I’m not really part of a team. So, I basically have no interruptions all day. No phone, no email, no colleagues stopping by to chit chat. At first, this level of focus on a singular task kind of threw me off. (That combined with the twitchy-ness.) But now? Wow, after less than a week, I think I’ve really grown fond of life without multi-tasking.

The research says it’s far more productive not to multi-task. And of course, the research is likely right but it’s so rare to have the ability NOT to multi-task, isn’t it? How often do we get a chance to work while not scheduling children’s dentist appointments, mentally preparing a grocery list or figuring out what is an appropriate teacher’s gift? Well, I’m getting into it now. And it really is amazing how productive I’ve been as a result.

I’m not fully there though yet. So I took a wander over to some of my favourite blogs on my coffee break. This post from XUP actually had me almost spitting my coffee out onto the computer screen — in a combination of horror and laughter. It provides a handy-dandy list of topics to discuss over Christmas dinner.  Here’s a sampler so you can see what I mean:  “Go around the table and ask everyone if they had to have sex with a member of the family who it would be. Make note of those who don’t squirm or don’t have to think about their answer.”

So, that’s what’s up with me. Work, coffee, a good blog post from XUP. You? Do you have a method for dealing with the madness of multi-tasking? Or Christmas family dinner conversations for that matter?

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  1. I work at home, so I can definitely relate. I find myself working in brief spurts throughout the day. I think if I had to go back to work in an office I would be twitchy too!

  2. Huh. I like to think of myself as a Master Multitasker and I always thought I liked it that way. Lately, though, I’ve had to impose a “one kid at a time” policy around here — if you need something, you get in the queue, kid. Maybe there’s something to this “focusing” thing after all.

    I am envious of your non-flannel-pant wardrobe. Although, I would have no idea how to wash it!

  3. I dream of working back in an office. I work at home frequently and the distractions are giving me adult ADD! However, I will admit that the one time I was back in an office environment for any length of time, it was hard to get back into having to request permission to take days off – and what’s up with doing the laundry in the evening? Honestly…

    And I’m also addicted to my email. We’re off on a 4-day holiday and I know I’ll be checking email and my social networking site frequently. But in other ways, that’s part of my relaxing – or at least I’ll call it that!

  4. I am just starting on a work at home journey, and with a preschooler and a toddler the number of distractions are totally getting to me. Add in the computer-related email / Twitter / Facebook and I am almost never on task. I am maybe just a little jealous of your ability to focus. :)

    • Oh I hear you Amber. I left my full-time job in 2005 to be home full-time, plus a little work-from-home. Since then I’ve done every combination under the sun … home with kids while trying to work, part-time daycare during the week, full-time daycare …. you name it. What I have found over the years is that without some childcare during the day, I need to accept that evening and weekend work is a necessity because you just can’t count on being able to get everything done. At this point, our option is childcare 4 days a week so that we can count on evenings and weekends as a family. It just works better for us. But there are lots of us work-from-home types and so many different ways to make it work — you’ll find your groove! Fear not.

  5. LOVED the topics to discuss at Christmas. When my brother brings up his ideas of ‘polite’ conversation, I will mention one of these to break the ice!!!!!!

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