Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sourdough Here, Sourdough Gone :: The Fallacy of Multitasking

Remember that awesome organic sourdough culture I spent a week making? You may have seen it in the last post, bubbling merrily in its homey jar. Yeah, well, I accidentally dropped it on our kitchen tiles last night, in one of those movie-worthy, car-crash/slow motion moments, where you see tragedy unfolding before you, but are helpless to prevent it. Sourdough here, sourdough gone. 

I picked up the shards of glass, and the precious culture, and binned them. 
Time to start again. 


But let's reflect on this. What was I doing at the time I dropped it? Too much. My arms were full of stuff, my fridge was full of stuff, and I was "multi-tasking" - which, by the way, researchers have now shown to be a fallacy. We don't multi-task at all - our brains just switch back and forth between tasks, and quite inefficiently. We tell ourselves we can do it, but according to researchers at the University of Utah (who conducted this interesting study) our views of our own multitasking abilities are "significantly inflated." 

I love that. Significantly inflated. What a nice way of saying bull shit.

So ultimately, I wasn't concentrating. I lost focus.

And it's not the first time this has happened ... I drop things all the time (Remember this time? Or this lovely set of shards? Or the time I over-scheduled myself for a holiday and panicked and grounded myself?) 

And at the moment, my brain is cycling between all my various living, breathing offspring: my research babies, my written babies (including this blog!), my sourdough babies, my real baby. They're all important to me, in different ways - in defining who I am and who I want to be, and the mark I hope I'll leave on this world ... but seriously, woman. One thing at a time.

ONE. THING. AT. A. TIME. 

Today, I'll start with this: this letter to myself and you, reminding me to focus. Reminding all of us that it's ok to forget things, even things you keep reminding yourself of over and over again, because life is a process. Then, I'll start my day again - focusing on one thing at a time. Yoga? Laundry? Book proposal outline? Park with Nelle? Essay on sustainability? The Rubens at the Tivoli? They're all going to get my undivided attention, one by one by one.

Everyday, we get to start again. 
In life and sourdough. 
Amanda xx

10 comments:

the urban mummy said... [Reply to comment]

I can so relate....since the arrival of my 'real' baby I find that I try to juggle so many things and not necessarily physical things like 'sourdough babies' but more in my mind...your blog is a great reminder to be in the moment and focus on what we are doing at the time and not what is next on that 'things do to list' that I have going on upstairs all the time. Helen x

Amanda Niehaus said... [Reply to comment]

@the urban mummy Yes, yes, yes. Namaste. xx

Hannah said... [Reply to comment]

you are too funny, but this is also super insightful! and I definitely relate.

Jossie loves said... [Reply to comment]

Poor sourdough culture! I just sat down with some lovely tea to drop in - after a manic morning so far of 50,000 jobs. Your post rings so true - time to have another tea and take time - not rush the day away. Happy Sunday. J xx

Cheryl said... [Reply to comment]

Oh goodness, that's a heartbreaker. Nice that you were able to find such a valuable silver lining in the experience, though, and grateful that you shared it with the rest of us.

I see myself in that dropped jar, and you've reminded me to put myself (and my priorities) on a more sturdy shelf.

Erika said... [Reply to comment]

Oh no! Sorry to hear about your starter...so frustrating.
"Significantly inflated"...that's going to be my new catch phrase ;)

Amanda Niehaus said... [Reply to comment]

@HannahSometimes, you just *have* to laugh! :)

Amanda Niehaus said... [Reply to comment]

@Jossie loves Well, hello, Jossie! I hope you enjoyed the visit and the tea ... and you're so right. I might just have another cup of tea now, too ...

Amanda Niehaus said... [Reply to comment]

@CherylYou know, it's funny how often I learn the same valuable lesson. Again, and again, and again ... And it usually takes crashing smashing glassy things for me to hit the re-set button ...

Amanda Niehaus said... [Reply to comment]

@ErikaThank you, Erika - and you know what? A new friend of mine just OFFERED ME SOME OF HER STARTER!!! Yay!! :)

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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx

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