I LOVE multi-tasking - I thrive on it...not really found it a challenge, but then did have a cleaner for a short time when the children were young! But thought this was justified as whilst I was working full time, I was part owner of a shop!
Challenges - intolerant of a husband who was not and is not able to multi-task when necessary!!
I enjoy multi- tasking too - however sometimes the demands of working long hours and trying to manage the house (again something everyone seemed to assume was my sole responsibility and nothing to do with the other three people who lived there) did become overwhelming. When I find multi-tasking difficult I think it's more to do perfectionism and this is definitely something I have had to learn to let go of. There are times when I feel as though I have too much to do and I am not doing any of it well but other times when I enjoy the variety of things I am managing and feel a sense of pride that they get done to a reasonable standard. I now have a cleaner and struggled for ages with this - I felt like I was giving in or not managing but I have actually now see this as an investment in making some time for myself.
Ha, ha, ha.. juggling!!! I just see myself as a jester with so many balls in the air.. plates spinning.. and never know which is going to fly next.. so just got to laugh and see it as fun.. my daughter often says to me.. wouldn't it be easier Mummy if you asked people just to give you one thing at a time.. I guess overall I think you've just got to see all the different things as 'one'.. 'life'.. and I think that's where the problem is -that we're still stuck in a division of a public/private sphere.. whilst really caring at home and trying to contribute to society do complement and inform eachother.. but yep.. just need to have always have place for friends to keep laughing and spinning.. and be there to catch you when things do come crashing down to help pick things up again!x
Multi tasking is picking up the children from after school club, arriving home and trying to get a meal ont he table within 15 minutes as they are already tired. At the same time, tidying kitchen, unpacking book bags, sorting washing, making a well earned cup of tea, trying to sort our reading books, doing the dishes and then tring to get things organised for the next day. Never in my life have i left my cashcard in more supermarkets, forgotten what I came into the room for and generally run around in circles!
Multi tasking is just how it is as a adult I think. My mum says to me 'Just get on with it' and I take that advice everyday. However things tend to give all the time. My house would win no Home and Garden award. But I see it as prioritising!
Multi-tasking is part of life and not unique to women and I also think it is down to stereotypical roles. However, there seems to be attitudes (in my family in particular) where somethings such as multi tasking are considered to be part of the woman's role hence it is natural for me to do and unexpected for my husband, such as cleaning, working and cooking. If Alan washes or cooks and looks after Tara then my family gush about how good he is but when I decorate, do spellings, work, study, publish and cook oh well that is Maggie's creativity and it is taken for granted. My family do have distinct roles for men and women and it is a 'given' that in today's society you work and be a mum and do both really well and if you cant then you need to give up work or get a cleaner.
I thrive on doing lots of things at the same time but my family say 'perhaps you should stop studying or writing because you're doing too much' i.e. things I like to do and which are for me rather than for the good of the family. Its as if i am expected to work and have a clean house and have an organised happy household but when I have trouble cleaning or shopping they say it is because of my other tasks i.e. my study and I am doing too much.
Like Barbie, I smile and pretend all is fine whilst juggling family commitments, work commitments, husband commitments and my own personal interests but every now and then I have a melt down and drop a ball (usually cleaning or an event I hadn't put on the diary) and then carry on again.
The question for me is - isn't doing it all part of having it all? I do feel I am always evaluating what part of 'all' I want (because it isn't possible) and I reconsider what I am prepared to drop so that I can find balance and have 'most' instead of 'all'. Some things are dropped more than others - I drop cleaning first, then me, then work, finally family (which is a very rare).
I've always multi-tasked in the sense that I read while I eat breakfast etc., but in many others areas of my life I am quite single-focussed. My one real luxury as a single mum was a having a cleaner twice a month - I'd have one like a shot again tomorrow if we could afford one now. When we lived overseas I had a housekeeper which meant life became very relaxed and I was able to spend time with my son and focus on the 'good life'! It was great and sometimes now I feel irritable when I realise the house needs a clean or the washing needs doing. I don't beat myself up about those things and in general if something doesn't get done today, I am of the attitude it'll get done tomorrow. I am geared towards enjoying the life I have been given and this does not make me a domestic goddess :) Now I run my own business, the same rules apply. I prioritise and what doesn't get done, goes on tomorrow's list.
And in the midst of it all we sometimes forget to breathe... And to look after ourselves! With some pretty disastrous consequences on occasion in my case!!
I love multi tasking and it keeps me going having another project to distract me when I am getting bored! However you can get to the point, especially if you like to say yes, that you have too much for even you to do. This is when it gets hard to say as I am alway the one who copes/sorts it all out. The more you do the higher the expectations.
I enjoy being busy and challenged by juggling home, motherhood and work.
Yes the mornings are a rush but ever such a lot is achieved! Give me four hours on a day off and nothing gets done!
The evemings are busy too ensuring I keep on top of chores through the week to ensure maximum family time at weekends, it's just something that's part of Monday to Friday life!
I'm ok with multi tasking. I don't even notice that's what I'm doing most of the time..... until I see my husband struggle to do even two things at once and then I get a bit frustrated. I'm not frustrated because I'm multitasking but because he can't.
I used to think I was good at multi-tasking but not I realise that one task at a time is actually the only way to cope. I am a single parent with a professional identify as well as being a lecturer. I have at least three different roles (daughter, friend too) to compartmentalise and all those things have to slot together seamlessly. If they don't I am at sea. My child is always my priority and if school shuts I just don't have nyone else to pick up the pieces. My work takes me away from the locale and I worry about trains getting me back on time. If it works the rewards are great and generally compensate for the times that late trains mean I have to call on friends to care. Asking for help is so hard when everyone is so busy, but I have one or two friends that I know I can rely on. It is essential.
This is a skill worth honing, it comes naturally to me. It works well if the first job requires physical energy, preferably repetitive. Eg. Fill a bucket with hot water and detergent. Hold mop in front of you and mop the vacuumed floor in a left to right motion. At the same time stand on a towel and shimmy back and forwards with your feet to dry the floor as you go. (Tip learned from kleptomaniac French exchange girl). With practice you can use one hand for the mop leaving one hand free to wipe the surfaces as you go or the breakfast from round a child’s mouth. This still leaves your voice which can sing requests to check school bags are ready and lunch boxes collected and summoning children to stand by the door with your car keys, bag and lippy. Use your brain in the meantime to imagine you are in an infinity pool, slim and bronzed with a wheat grass cocktail waiting. … Exercised , floor cleaned, calming technique………Ta Dah.
I do think a person should stop at putting on socks whilst using the loo. At that stage a kind of madness has set in and you have to remember that the more time you free up, the more work expands to fill it…..That's the wisdom of age.
I love the image you conjure up about multitasking. I could do with some of those cleaning skills.
This project is good fun isn't it?
Multi Tasking has become the norm. Jiggling the demand of a busy day at work with a million and one things to do, to then switching hats to mum. A mum of three who has to then pick them up, drop them all at a variety of clubs, cook tea, read, homework, clean, wash, iron, tidy, sort out uniforms etc for the next day and give them all my undivided love, attention and support. Once in bed the laptop comes out, whilst making a cup of tea, making up packed lunches and trying to switch back into work mode.
I then go to bed with a head fuilled with information only to repeat the madness the next day.
I have so many plates to spin, people often comment " I don't know how you do it"! I do it but I certainly don't do it in the glamorous way that Barbie is depicted in this photo.
My mum was a working mum and therefore multitasked all the time and she even managed to bake some wonderful cakes, crumbles and delicious stews along the way but i'm afraid baking in not in my repertoire.............However multi-tasking and being organised is part of being a working mum. No problem, just got on with it. We didn't have any family nearby so my husband and I shared the child care, especially if she was unwell then I would work the morning and my husband the afternoon or visa a versa, we had to juggle and get on with it. The multi tasking changed as our daughter got older and we adapted to keep things going. To manage being a working mum I found that the best strategy was to keep work and motherhood separate by by being focused on whatever role I was doing that day. For example as soon as I was in the car to work, after dropping our daughter at nursery, I went straight into work mode and visa versa when I got in the car from work. For me this seemed to work.
I love being busy. I love multitasking. It empowers me when I am successful at it. Those superwoman moments! On the other hand, it gets me down when I can't do it all. I think sometimes I am a little hard on myself.
Some mornings I just think why am I doing all this? Get everyone up, dressed, fed and watered, clean house, walk dogs, feeding chickens, nursery drop offs all before a lecture at 8! With a husband that does shifts, it sometimes feels like a single mum. When he is at home though, boy do I notice how the pace changes.
Multitasking - whether you think about spinning plates or juggling balls its all about keeping up the momentum; its certainly a way of life for many people in the modern age. Juggling children, grandchildren, elderly parents, home, school, homework, sports clubs and work requires flexibility and lots of energy. I cannot survive without the notice board and calendar in the kitchen; my eldest daughter even writes on the calendar when she wants me to babysit or have Ellis for a sleepover so that I don't forget. Snuggly sleepovers with 3 year old Ellis are fabulous. I have become pretty good at juggling over the years and the children seem to follow my systems well. I think this helps them to take some responsibility for organising themselves. I have been known to drop the odd ball and my housekeeping doesn't meet my Mum's exacting standards but as long as my children are well fed and happy and I have time to have fun with them then I am happy. I have wondered occasionally what it would be like to have some time to myself but the girls were away on a school holiday recently and I spent a week on my own which I hated and I couldn't wait for them to come home. So keep the balls coming and I will keep juggling as long as possible.
This is lovely Elaine :0)
Multitasking for me means never being able to "switch off". As a single mum with no family around to help, everything is down to me. Like so many mums, I work, look after the children and the house. Sounds simple, doesn't it? If it was just about getting stuff ready and ferrying from A-B, it could be quite energising. Where it gets completely draining is the constant worry about finances, whether I'm making the right decisions - particularly in where you draw those boundaries for your maturing children. It's an endless slog sometimes. My usual thought is - I will relax (or it will get better) when .... But no sooner as one thing is sorted, something else takes its place. The worst things are the ones you can't control but they impact greatly on your quality of life. One valuable lesson I've learnt is to compartmentalise. I can't do everything and I can't always get it right. Basically, multitasking is exhausting and stressful!
Multitasking keeps me active, alert and on the ball. I think it's a good thing. I rarely forget things as I'm always thinking of the next thing. Admittedly, I hVent always had to multi task quite so much. I enjoy the challenge. However, during school holidays when I am off - I'm off, my mind turns into mush, I can think forwards or backwards. Heaven. Complete shut down. Multi tasking does have it's downfalls though- it makes me very bossy, and my expectations are high- so I become the sergeant major and can't understand why my husband and. Children don't have the same speed, urgency or military precision that I like. Oh ec my poor family. It's a good job I have lots of holidays.xx
I can't not multitask, unless I am in full on focused 'flow' mode, as I just get too bored. The key for me is recognising my weaknesses and trying to plan. Electronic support helps a lot: I couldn't cope without all the family calendars together and IN MY CONTROL on Google calendar on every device. I am now cracking time management with online tools also, like bookable office hours for students and Doodle for meeting schedules. I have been very influenced by the 'time management for unmanagement people' book, essentially written by a woman with ADHD but I think it works for all of us who are just too fragmented. Focus for 20 minutes on one thing is fine! That makes three an hour...
...But, then. I sometimes end up needing a 'mental health' day. Lying on the sofa eating chocolate and shouting 'don't ask me ANYTHING! I can't think anymore...' The family are all very accommodating when Barbie just POPS and needs a lie down, fortunately.
I think it is not stereotype. Most women can- have to- do it since quite young and therefore we become quite competent at it . Although quite difficult at times with deadlines, chicken pox , breastfeeding, etc,etc..I grew up in a family of 8 siblings and I hardly ever saw my mum relaxing. Her frequent: i don't have time even to go to the loo... summarizes the theme today for most working parents these days.
I perform much better when I'm busy at work and am happy to multi-task but it is a delicate balance between being happily challenged and feeling stressed. My diary keeps things under control and lists are ESSENTIAL to prioritise. At home (and even with only 1 child) we have to have a weekly diary meeting (usally post-breakfast on a Sunday morning) to organise school pick-ups, sports events, ballet, maths tuition and sewing class. I always lead this. Sometimes I ask my husband to lead the meeting and he looks at me blankly with his empty diary in front of him. (Sorry Ryan but this always makes me laugh!) I feel that I organise everything at home (short term organisation as well as holidays, our wedding, house buying and professional/life goals) and that everything would implode if I took my eye off the ball. My sister and I went to NYC for 2 weeks a few years back and we had to leave detailed notes for our husbands about what to do and when. We were pretty safe in the knowledge that our cleaners would also ensure that each house did not fall apart!
Although I'm a Virgo I would love my husband to take control more. I think there's something in that old-fashioned dynamic :-)
I agree that multi tasking makes me intolerant sometimes and under pressure I can get accused of treating my husband as a child by telling him what to do. As a consequence I don't ask and he doesn't do. This leads to frustration and makes me feel lonely. That's the bad side. The good side is I occaissionally get thanked and I get to decide what happens a lot of the time! I do not manage well with mixing tasks. I am much better swapping heads or hats during travel time and changing personality by the time I get there. I am constantly amazed how much work we have to do just to "be". I do think my partner works as hard as I do - its just that his work is more structured.
Multi tasking is like second nature, I do it without even thinking about it. Sometimes I can get a real buzz from it and sense of achievement.
Multi tasking becomes frustrating when I am trying to achieve the impossible. I can be my own worst enemy and harsh about myself, for example: when I am frustrated by a number situations which I am juggling at the same time.
Multitasking is my life. Always do it, have started to do lists to try and be more organised. Things have always been done, now I'm working, studying and looking after the kids and house. Mum has started doing school runs and pick ups as the other half works long hours. Funny though we just get things done, while I was writing an essay on Sunday said to husband the kids uniforms need ironing! He did it, never touches the iron normally and I did says thanks. No one ever says thanks to me when I do it and everyone kept making a fuss of him! Why is it just thought it's our work? I do get a sense of achievemt when I've looked at my list with all things ticked off. It's just second nature, nothing would get done otherwise.
Multi tasking ... It's what us mums do best ... Some days are better than others being a full time single working mum to 4 is a multi tasking sentence in its self !!! ... But we just do it .. I thrive on the manic ness the junk and disordily that has become normal to my being ... My aunt bless her some days walks in and back out again as the house is topsy turvey and we are in the middle balancing pans on our heads and home work with our toes whilst finding pe kits and wondering where all the biscuits are .... Wouldn't have it any other way tho :)
Multi-tasking is part n parcel of everyday life- hate to admit it but I do get bored if not doing several things. The adage 'if you need something doing, ask a busy woman' is so true.for example whenever there is a family do I wind up organising most of it- making the cake, sorting the deccys and I always feel pressured to attend every family event- when I do get stressed my sister says'pack in work' this hurts so much- I enjoy my work and feel that the expecatation on me tom'a age a household and be an active family member is seen by some as the priority. Much as nick thinks he helps, I cook each evening, do the laundry and always come home to a kitchen full of dirty pots. Nick manages Tom really well though, but it would be nice if he did more around the home.
Can I be the one to say (do I dare?) that I don't multi-task very well. I do like to compartmentalise, keeping things separate. I would rather pick up one ball and throw it high (or even just high-enough will do!), catch it and put it away again, then pick up the next - rather than try to juggle many balls in the air and have them falling on my head. I suppose that frustration does arise when there are just too many balls lined up...
Multi-tasking - now there's a word - aren't we women supposed to be better at it than men - something to do with our brains being wired that way or so media reports in newspapers and magazines tell me. Well is this a ploy for men to step out of taking oj the wider roles in the house and not multi-tasking because well you know 'it's not natural!' or is it a fact. My stance would be the notion of multi-taking being a female strength is a myth and if gender is irrelevant if a human being puts their mind to doing or trying to balance doing multiple tasks in a tight time frame.
So how am i posioned within this gendered concept- well you can tell I'm not that fab at it - look at the timeframes of my responses - hardly punctual to the day. However, I do get things done - but don't get too stressed about doing them in the hear and now - I can't as i have to balance a considerable work - both teaching and research - workload with family life. As I've mentioned in my previous responses I've had to 'multi-task' and this can be stressful and exciting - I'm ambivalent about it. My hubby multi-tasks - my girls multi-task that's life - it's about moving through personal and public domains and engaining in activities related to them - there are of courses choices and I need to prioritise and that can be a challenge if personal life gets imapcted upon by work challenges. It's been a roller coaster at my currrent workplace and I suppose I've grown and learnt not to be to emotional about the different roles and also to remember that family comes first.
I think the question for me would be that you have chosen words to identify the working and weekend life of women - I can totally relate to them, but it would be intersting to find out how different women defined the terms as words are loaded with ideologies. It is easy to essentialise working womens experience - but i would say they it is not only gendered, but classed etc too. That's another conversation but one worth having - the notion of women going to work is relatively new for the middle class, but for my history it is not - my nana was a sewing machinist a factory - my great nana was a domestic servant - us working women have a history of 'multi-tasking' - now this is interesting what my ancestors didn't have to 'put up with' is the impact of new and emerging technology and being available to respond to emails etc at hours not deemed to be withing the working week 1.e evening. Technology is another aspect of muti-tasking and that I'd say needs further probing especuaially as a gendered activity. I hope my stream of ideas / feelings / notions make sense ...
Strangely, I enjoy multitasking and working under pressure. Gives me adrenaline rush! Hate wasting time at lengthy pointless meetings and nonfocussed conversations. I am definitely a doer...
Major frustration! Like being torn in multiple directions, but just wanting to be with my son, taking the time to play, read, listen to him, chilling out etc. At one point, I was working full time in a job I hated, doing my MA, and being a single parent. I sometimes question what that was all about. What was I trying to prove? And to who? Why didn't I just chill out and do all those nice things? Oh yes - Money!!
For me it's about balance. Sometimes multitasking is energising. Now I'm retired I'm glad that multitasking is in my mindset - a left over from working days. I'm never bored and can tun those attitudes and skills to achieving life ambitions, however small. At other times, when life still feels too busy, I have to draw on all I know about mindfulness and concentrating on one thing at a time. I now know that attitudes, ways of being and thinking developed during full on working days are enrichng my life right now.