Author Topic: Reduce multitasking  (Read 1665 times)

Linea_Norway

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Reduce multitasking
« on: October 08, 2019, 07:34:45 AM »
I multitask way too much and it causes me some stress:

When I eat breakfast, I read stuff on an iPad (usually the newspaper, or just my email). I prepare my breakfast in the kitchen and then eat it at the table, so I don't need two hands to eat my slice of bread.

When I sit in front of the TV and there is something not so interesting on TV (for example DH wants to watch sports), I read and write stuff on an iPad (usually this forum). When there is something I want to watch, I put the iPad away. But if DH then watches his iPad instead of the TV, he often shows he things that are funny/amazing/interesting and makes me multitask again.

When I read something on facebook, facebook constantly pops up small dialogues with people who respond to what I just wrote. And other pop ups with people who liked what I just wrote. That is constantly disturbing. I do find facebook useful for gaining contacts and information for my hobby. So I am not ready yet to ditch it.

When cooking, I am cleaning up vegetable cuts and meat boxes and filling up the shopping list with things that are empty. I also often end up being a bit too ambitious and cooking 5 pans at the same time, making up plans of what to cook on the go. When my DH cooks, he just leaves the vegetable cuts on the counter to clean up afterwards.

Plan:
I think the first thing, cutting out reading while eating, should be easy to implement. I can try to eat more mindfully. Just finish it all before opening the iPad to read the news/email. Or just not open it at all.

Also leaving the garbage on the kitchen counter while cutting/cooking should be doable, even though it is a bit against my ingrained tidying up habit.

I am not sure about how to solve the 5 pan cooking problem though. It always ends up like that, because we have pretty high standards for making tasteful food (DH is quite critical for food). And I feel the need of making every meal complete, with some starch, some essential proteins and lots of veggies. Stirring 5 pans at the same time, while having something else in the oven that can burn, is a bit stressful. I normally have no meal plan and just improvise something from the ingredients that I find in the fridge, combined with the portion of meat/fish that is unfrozen (that I got out of the freezer the night before. By the way, DH and I cook on average every other day, with the ingredients we have, both improvising the meals. So making a meal plan for the rest of the week for my half is a bit difficult. Although I am also the one who does the food shopping, usually twice a week. I prefer to buy what looks fresh/attractive/cheap, rather than following a plan.

Any advice?

Plina

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 09:29:27 AM »
I also read while I eat breakfast. I kind of find it relaxing so it is not something I am prepared to give up.

When it comes to FB and other social media. Maybe you can set up a specific time to deal with it instead of responding to every pling. I have taken away notifications so I respond when I feel for doing it.

I donít actually see anything wrong with cooking and cleaning while you cook. I read a book https://www.amazon.com/Work-Clean-life-changing-mise-en-place-organize/dp/1623365929 that talked about how chefs are trained to put everything back in their place and clean while cooking. I do it and find it extremely annoying to clean up after other people. In the same way I am also always cooking several dishes. I mostly cook on weekends for the whole week. Last Sunday I made Three different dishes and got 15 meals out of it and I live by myself. If you find it stressing maybe you can reduce the amount of dishes you do at same time instead of trying to reach only one dish.

GuitarStv

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2019, 09:58:48 AM »
An old Zen master was very careful to remonstrate his pupils for failing to attend fully to the tasks that they worked on.  "When one sweeps, one must practice mindfulness and only sweep"  "When one meditates, one must practice mindfulness to only meditate".  Several months later a student saw the Zen master reading the newspaper while drinking a coffee.  The student was troubled, so asked the Zen master for clarification.  His response:

"When one drinks coffee and reads the newspaper, one must practice mindfulness to only drink coffee and read the newspaper."

talltexan

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2019, 01:25:49 PM »
I used to read while I eat breakfast. Now I pack school lunches for my kids while I eat breakfast. The talltexan morning routine is kind of a mess.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2019, 01:37:39 PM »
I also read while I eat breakfast. I kind of find it relaxing so it is not something I am prepared to give up.

When it comes to FB and other social media. Maybe you can set up a specific time to deal with it instead of responding to every pling. I have taken away notifications so I respond when I feel for doing it.

I donít actually see anything wrong with cooking and cleaning while you cook. I read a book https://www.amazon.com/Work-Clean-life-changing-mise-en-place-organize/dp/1623365929 that talked about how chefs are trained to put everything back in their place and clean while cooking. I do it and find it extremely annoying to clean up after other people. In the same way I am also always cooking several dishes. I mostly cook on weekends for the whole week. Last Sunday I made Three different dishes and got 15 meals out of it and I live by myself. If you find it stressing maybe you can reduce the amount of dishes you do at same time instead of trying to reach only one dish.

I don't have any notifications from social media on on my phone. It's just that when I read fb, once a day, I get bothered with lots of reactions. Not just in the list of notifications, but also as popups or dialogues on the webpage. I will look into it if that can be turned off.

Maybe I should prepare more meals in the weekend and just warm up on busy days.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2019, 11:43:23 PM »
I just ate breakfast without reading anything. Was therefore finished much faster than usual.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2019, 02:22:35 PM »
I don't really understand what the problem is.  Is the multitasking stressful to you?

I'm a working mother so I multitask constantly.  I eat breakfast with my younger daughter (older one has already left for school with my husband) and we talk about all kinds of things while we eat but I'm usually also making my own lunch, making coffee, putting on a load of dishes or laundry and putting stuff away while we eat/talk.  I rarely do only one thing at once but as far as I'm concerned that's good as otherwise not everything would get done.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2019, 02:16:17 AM »
I don't really understand what the problem is.  Is the multitasking stressful to you?

I'm a working mother so I multitask constantly.  I eat breakfast with my younger daughter (older one has already left for school with my husband) and we talk about all kinds of things while we eat but I'm usually also making my own lunch, making coffee, putting on a load of dishes or laundry and putting stuff away while we eat/talk.  I rarely do only one thing at once but as far as I'm concerned that's good as otherwise not everything would get done.

I am not a mother, but I also multitask constantly, and working 80%. I am always thinking about whether the washing machine is finished and handling it, while for example cooking. Plus all the other things. My mind is never quiet. It distracts me from the main task I am doing and causes stress. I also in general get stressed (mostly at work), when I'm concentrating on a task and I get all kinds of inputs from mail, in person, phone calls, Skype and other popups. Because it takes ages before that flow of concentration is back again, if it comes back at all.
I have been multitasking for years. While I could handle it at times, I have also experienced serious stress symptoms, like memory loss and speech impediment. Currently I have been getting some of these symptoms again. Therefore I want to reduce the amount of stress in my life, at least the things that I have under control.

Currently we have a major stress event, which is selling our home for a good price (our FIRE plans depend on it). And after that, moving to a new (rental) place to live, which is still an unknown for us. Two major stress candidates, but much of it is out of my control. We are working hard on the things we can control though.

I have been doing an 8 week mindfulness training before the summer. I have decided now that I want to do things a bit more mindful, which is at least doing one task at the time.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2019, 03:07:13 AM »
I have the opposite problem. I stress because I have so much on my mind that Multi-tasking helps me alleviate it. Plus in some weird way I think it keeps my mind sharp. Were all wired different. I use to have trouble concentrating on one thing and it was impossible to read a book. I tried this meditation for months that really helped me control it and it really worked well. Perhaps you might want to give it a try.  Sit in a room quiet upright in a chair, feet flat on the ground with no noise and I kept it kinda dark. Pick a favorite passage, affirmation or ? but something of some length that you know by heart. Close your eyes and kinda whisper it out loud and the second something else comes in to your mind go back and start over. It will be frustrating at first but if you do it for a week you cant help but to notice the difference and it REALLY made a difference for me.

Poundwise

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2019, 07:01:04 AM »
Ha!  This is a thread I need.  My brain sometimes goes on the "Blue Screen of Death" that one used to get when too many windows were open in Windows.

The best thing I can think of to do to relieve this is to have another month of "No".  I had a month of "No" in March, which was excellent because I escaped being recruited for two committees and three volunteer events.

As of this moment, I am now on "No-vember". I will only work on the commitments I already have going.  The question is, should I accept holiday invitations for Dec? Have only one so far but expect many more. And I was thinking about having a party myself...

Linea_Norway, perhaps you could cut down on reading while doing other things, and especially limit the social media? Then you might have enough multi-tasking brain left to cook 5 dishes at once. I have a similar issue, where I get so bored while doing housework or a single thing. So I turn on the radio, or call somebody, or start multitasking.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 07:04:59 AM by Poundwise »

Linea_Norway

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2019, 07:11:57 AM »
Yesterday I did many things, but mostly sequential, not so much at the same time.
Apart from the laundry that ran by itself, but needs my help from time to time. A good part of yesterday and today I was able to read a book without too much multitasking.

But we are currently in a period with a lot of things going on, like selling our house and complaining with the previous owner about a lack of information, as well as a request to the community. So even if I don't want to multitask, the world is multitasking with me.

I get a number of phone calls. Lots are scams for other countries, which I don't answer at all. And the others are Indian guys in a call center telling me they want to build networks. I just break them off as soon as I can.

APowers

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2019, 08:21:33 AM »
I multitask way too much and it causes me some stress:

*snip*

I am not sure about how to solve the 5 pan cooking problem though. It always ends up like that, because we have pretty high standards for making tasteful food (DH is quite critical for food). And I feel the need of making every meal complete, with some starch, some essential proteins and lots of veggies. Stirring 5 pans at the same time, while having something else in the oven that can burn, is a bit stressful. I normally have no meal plan and just improvise something from the ingredients that I find in the fridge, combined with the portion of meat/fish that is unfrozen (that I got out of the freezer the night before. By the way, DH and I cook on average every other day, with the ingredients we have, both improvising the meals. So making a meal plan for the rest of the week for my half is a bit difficult. Although I am also the one who does the food shopping, usually twice a week. I prefer to buy what looks fresh/attractive/cheap, rather than following a plan.

Any advice?

^This^ sounds like exactly how I normally cook. My $200/mo food budget-- this was how I cooked. In January, I decided I had too many other projects to do, and needed to streamline my meal prep. I planned around my regular staples (chicken, beans, oatmeal, pasta, bread, etc), and made a menu-- different set meals each day, repeating each week. To do this, I upped my food budget by $50/mo, and decided to grocery shop once a week only. So now, I make pizza on sunday, leftovers on monday, chicken on tuesday, chili/baked beans on wednesday, meat sandwiches on thursday, pasta on friday, and tex-mex/tacos/burritos on saturday. The pasta sauce and chili/beans, I batch cook so I only have to pull from the freezer. It has been pretty great-- the time commitment is about the same, but the mental energy needed is reduced about 75%.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2019, 08:28:07 AM »
I multitask way too much and it causes me some stress:

*snip*

I am not sure about how to solve the 5 pan cooking problem though. It always ends up like that, because we have pretty high standards for making tasteful food (DH is quite critical for food). And I feel the need of making every meal complete, with some starch, some essential proteins and lots of veggies. Stirring 5 pans at the same time, while having something else in the oven that can burn, is a bit stressful. I normally have no meal plan and just improvise something from the ingredients that I find in the fridge, combined with the portion of meat/fish that is unfrozen (that I got out of the freezer the night before. By the way, DH and I cook on average every other day, with the ingredients we have, both improvising the meals. So making a meal plan for the rest of the week for my half is a bit difficult. Although I am also the one who does the food shopping, usually twice a week. I prefer to buy what looks fresh/attractive/cheap, rather than following a plan.

Any advice?

^This^ sounds like exactly how I normally cook. My $200/mo food budget-- this was how I cooked. In January, I decided I had too many other projects to do, and needed to streamline my meal prep. I planned around my regular staples (chicken, beans, oatmeal, pasta, bread, etc), and made a menu-- different set meals each day, repeating each week. To do this, I upped my food budget by $50/mo, and decided to grocery shop once a week only. So now, I make pizza on sunday, leftovers on monday, chicken on tuesday, chili/baked beans on wednesday, meat sandwiches on thursday, pasta on friday, and tex-mex/tacos/burritos on saturday. The pasta sauce and chili/beans, I batch cook so I only have to pull from the freezer. It has been pretty great-- the time commitment is about the same, but the mental energy needed is reduced about 75%.

Thanks, that sounds like a good plan. I remember your earlier challenge, but you are right that it costs a lot of energy. Maybe from now on planning once a week what we will eat would save a lot of mental energy. I inventorized the freezer drawings, so planning should be easier now.
So far I am getting better at reminding DH to prepare his cooking turn and maybe get meat out of thecfreezer the day before instead of me taking something out.

talltexan

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2019, 06:57:00 AM »
My wife and I are taking an "OHIO" approach to moving (we're moving approximately seven miles North, with little time pressure).

Only handle it once. So if we're touching something, we see it through until it's packed into a box into the van.

Unfortunately, there are some genuinely useful things that probably should be handled with more thought.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2019, 04:31:40 AM »
My wife and I are taking an "OHIO" approach to moving (we're moving approximately seven miles North, with little time pressure).

Only handle it once. So if we're touching something, we see it through until it's packed into a box into the van.

Unfortunately, there are some genuinely useful things that probably should be handled with more thought.



I like that plan. We too are moving in about 3 weeks and wish i could get my DW to think that way!

talltexan

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Re: Reduce multitasking
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2019, 07:36:11 AM »
How ambitious is your move?

Ours is only a few miles farther North.