Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Multi-Tasking Mania

Multi-tasking, the brain experts now tell us, is a myth. The brain absolutely cannot pay attention to two conceptual activities at the same time. When forced to try, it simply switches back and forth between the two tasks, which is as inefficient as it is exhausting.

Fair enough. I've never liked that frenetic trying-to-do-things-at-once feeling anyway.

But there is a form of multi-tasking that I adore. I use it when I have a really boring, tedious job that absolutely needs to get done.

Like filling in every single one of the hundred or so nail holes left in my newly re-installed woodwork. And then touching up every bit of filler with matching stain.

Oi. So horribly painstaking and dull.

When faced with a mind-numbingly dull task of this magnitude, I realize that I have three options:
1. Get 'er done and die from the boredom. 
2. Put off the job for another day, and then feel guilty. 
3. Find a few really fun jobs to do at more-or-less the same time, thus stirring little sparks of fun into my tedious chore. In other words, multi-task.
So that's what I did today. In spurts, I would fill those wicked little holes till I couldn't stand it anymore, then I would slip away into the kitchen where I had any number of much more fun and interesting projects underway, such as:

^ Deglossing and refinishing my new thrifted plant basket. The original finish was too shiny for my tastes and after the calming influences of my satin polyurethane-covered paintbrush, it is now more natural and rustic.

^ Cleaning the foliage of my new fiddle leaf fig plant with a solution of half milk and half water, which is purported to make those oversize violin-shaped leaves extra glossy. I painted it on with a soft brush, and so far, the effect is amazing.

^ Touching up the metal rods of my geometric sculpture thingy with turquoise paint. I liked the original mellow green, but I decided to punch it up a bit with some aqua accents. The jury is still out on the final result, but so far, so good.

I also started spray-painting my thrifted animals, unfurled my inspiration painting so it will be ready to hang tomorrow, and ran a few loads of laundry. 

Now, I willingly admit that my productivity was negatively affected by all the switching back and forth between projects. And let's be honest - none of these chores were exactly a day at the beach. 

But compared to this monotony, my multi-tasking mania made my day.

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