In 2016, I’ll Try…

In 2016 Ill try

I can write an entire blog post waiting in a carpool line.  I can read several chapters in a waiting room; respond to emails while watching TV.  I can do the laundry while I’m making dinner and running materials through the laminator…

At some point, multitasking leaves me feeling like I’m on one of Dr. Seuss’s fantastical machines.

dr seuss machine

I’m ready to lay that unwieldy instrument down.

In 2016, I’d like to focus on one thing at a time.  Such as seeing progress notes through to completion without a pause for email and social media.  Completing therapy material prep or planning without pausing for household chores.  Taking tasks like laundry or cooking through to completion and not getting sidetracked by other tasks.  (Although I do reserve the right to constructively use waiting time—I’m pretty sure “waiting” doesn’t require my full attention.)

Adding to this, I’m doing away with the too long, daily to-do list.  I’m planning to pare down to 3 things that really need to be done that day.

I’m hoping that these new habits will help me stay more balanced and I have a hunch that they may actually make me more productive.  I know I’m “losing” time by frequently re-starting projects or, for instance, rooting through a clean stack of clothes for a specific item that should have made it all the way to the closet.

Are you a chronic multitasker?  Do you really think the cacophony of those horns, cymbals and drums—each playing a different song–are more pleasing than the purity of a single instrument or those all playing the same tune?  Let me know if you’ve had success paring down or if multitasking is the only way you can get things done.

This post was inspired by the Frenzied SLPs.  To check out what other SLPs are focusing on this year, click here.


This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Sparklle SLP

    Multitasking, is that really a problem?! I hear ya! I agree, slowing down to focus on one thing at a time may really be more productive! I hit my multitasking high last year and basically crashed to where nothing was getting done. Balance is definitely needed. I’d be happy to help remind you when your multitasking urge takes over!!

    1. admin

      I’ll probably need it! It’s not an easy habit to break!

  2. LisaE-SLP

    I have to laugh – I sat down to read my emails this morning, clicked on yours, read through it, nodded in agreement, thinking “That’s a great idea! I’m going to try that!” and rather than CONTINUING to plow through my emails, I clicked on the link in your blog…then a link in that blog…than another…*sigh*… It’s going to take some time. 🙂

    1. admin

      I sympathize! This is going to be a toughie. But they say recognizing the problem is the first step… 😉

  3. Donna Miazga

    I think most SLPs are multitaskers…it’s inherent in our DNA! It is a big problem for me when I am not listening or tuning into my family because I’m doing 3 things at one time and none of them well. Good food for thought, thanks!

    1. admin

      When it impacts my relationships, whether that be with myself, family or friends, I know I need to find a way to set to-dos aside and focus on what’s important. Good luck!

  4. Mary

    Too many coals in the fire! It really does help to simplify life!

  5. Laura

    Kim, thanks so much for linking up – I love to read your thoughts! I can see where you are a multi-tasker whereas I’m more one thing at a time. That’s come with, ahem, age…
    All Y’all Need

  6. Linda

    I’m ok with the laundry/housework multi-tasking since I figure that it gets me up and moving regularly, but I also trying to come up with a rotating system that lets me get everything done sequentially. Basically, we just have to much to do, Kim! Lots of luck and please share any good ideas! Linda

  7. Amy Haselden

    Oh my goodness you should see the stack of laundry I am looking at on top of my washer and dryer just waiting to be folded and put away! I was nodding my head in agreement the entire time I was reading your post! I need to do the same thing–focus on one thing and finish it. What a great post-thanks for sharing!
    Amy 🙂

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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.