Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rubber Ducky, You’re the One

I tired of the idea of multitasking months ago. Honestly, I believe that I can have 10 things on my to-do list and I will get them done faster if I work on one at a time, not five at the same time. What I finish is actually quality, and I’m not losing my mind trying to juggle returning a phone call while answering email and cooking dinner at the same time. I usually end up emailing the wrong person while not listening to the person on the phone and burning dinner. It’s not quality.

Apparently I even need to stop multitasking on some of the tasks that should be somewhat intuitive, at least while I’m pregnant. This realization came courtesy of an unfortunate bathtub incident on Sunday. I was running bath water, stepping in the bath water while having a conversation with my husband and trying to reach for my daughter who wanted in the bath with me when it happened: I was violated by a rubber ducky! Wren has about six rubber duckies, so I’m not completely sure who the culprit was, but I sat my tush on a ducky beak, flung my whole body backwards and sat in shock. Luckily, this fall did not lead to contractions and an emergency room visit, though it did lead to some laughs from husband and daughter.

It was amusing, but it did bring back the thought that multitasking is a myth. The brain needs to focus on one thing at a time to truly comprehend. It’s safer(that’s a shout out to all you crazies who text while you drive) and I feel healthier when I’m not doing the chicken-with-my-head-cut-off dance. It took me a long time to realize the root of my disorganization was just my tendency to take on too much and not prioritize what needed to be done first. Even if I could get it prioritized, I still never felt like doing one thing at a time was good enough, like I was cheating because I wasn’t 100% stressed and ready to scream. Luckily, I’m over that feeling.

I have to credit one huge change in our lives that has helped me eliminate the need for multitasking and that is pretty much doing away with our cell phones. I know, this is blasphemy for most people, but it is absolute bliss! We installed a home phone in June, went on a prepaid plan where we have so few minutes a month available that it has to pretty much be emergency only and life became much simpler. Here’s why:

People can’t find you, therefore they stop looking:
I remember when my phone would ring and it always seemed like I had to answer it. There was a sense of emergency revolving around the fact that someone was calling me right then and what if they needed something. Even if I didn’t answer, I had their voice message or text just waiting and this lent a feeling of needing to respond when a need wasn’t really there. Now, people call my cell, it’s usually off or not with me, and then they call the home phone if they really need something. I check the home phone at the end of the day and call back who I want when I want. And when people don’t really need anything, they stop calling and this frees up a ton of time you spend calling them back just to find out they only called you because they were bored.

Relationships are better when they’re not casual:
Speaking of people who call when they’re bored, don’t you just love the people who call because you’re their from here to there person? You know, that person they call on the way to the grocery store or to pick up their kids? They don’t need to talk to you, maybe don’t even want to, but they are so used to doing something all the time that sitting in the car in silence or with only the radio freaks them out. They call you, fake interest until they reach their destination, and then you don’t hear from them again until they are going somewhere else and happen to see your number in their phone. Yeah, these aren’t quality conversations. I am now a fan of the old school style phone conversations that involve putting my child to bed, getting something warm to drink and having a conversation with a person where this is no predestined time for it to end. Those are good, and honestly, I don’t have as many phone conversations as I did before giving up the cell, but they’re better when I do.

Texting…I just don’t have words:
I hate it. I am not a technology hater, but I hate texting. I realize this confession will make me unpopular with 99% of the population, but I'm ready to be honest. I hate it because 8th graders think you spell you as u, and cause as cuz, and they get seriously offended when this is not accepted on a formal paper in my class. I hate it because on a regular basis I am having conversations with people who then pull out their cell phones and respond to a text from someone else. By the way, this is not multitasking, it’s just rude. Really, if I bore you that much then just walk away. It would be less irritating. I hate it because by the time I type out one text, I could have called and said what I needed to say therefore making it a huge time waster. I just hate it.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the night. Rubber ducky bum violation = bad. More time with family doing one thing at a time and not living glued to a cell phone = good.

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