“The brain is a lot like a computer. You may have several screens open on your desktop, but you’re able to think about only one at a time.”
- William Stixrud, PhD, Neuropsychologist from, The Myth of Multitasking: How “Doing it All” Gets Nothing Done by Dave Krenshaw.*
I, at times, have been a master multitasker. With phone in hand, perusing a cookbook, and stirring a pot of sauce, all the while making sure my baby, securely strapped in a Baby Bjorn didn’t get scalded. If I’ve accomplished keeping up with a conversation and a recipe without managing to burn the sauce or the baby, then what can’t I do all at once? That’s what I asked myself this morning, when my wireless Internet connection was slow. I kept popping open windows on Safari when I got impatient. Since I didn’t get called to sub today, and our guest visiting for the last couple of days had just left, I decided to be uber-productive.
My first window was opened to check on my blog that I just connected to facebook. I began this endeavor because the magazine, “Writer’s Digest” had a blog, suggesting it as a way to get more blog traffic. ** But I had to nag my facebook “friends” to verify me, and in the process, fourteen of them became followers. Some have now overlapped, following my blog from two places, which I hoped wouldn’t cause overlapping post notifications. Now I have some new followers, but they’re not listed as such on the original blog, nor do their comments appear there. So now I have two blogs to check, though my posts are the same. If facebook can pull my blog, why can’t my blog pull the facebook content?
The second window was opened to look for jobs on the Boston Globe website. Since loading that page was also as slow as molasses, I opened a third window to check if the Cambridge Public Schools added anything new. A Building Substitute position opened at the school that’s a hybrid of regular and Montessori classes. I’ve never subbed anything but Montessori there, so I didn’t know what the upper-grades were like, though I suspected they were challenging. I was sure that the job would be less than fulfilling, but what choice did I have? With my track record, they probably wouldn’t call me for an interview anyway, I hoped… or not.
While I contemplated whether or not to apply, or rather, tried to rally in order to apply, I opened a fourth window, because I wanted to continue reading tips from a, “Writer’s Digest” article I had begun to started. While reading said tips, a book, Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go by Les Edgerton was referenced, along with an option to read an excerpt. *** Why not? I clicked on the link, which opened a fifth-window.
What was going on with that first window? No new followers. Anything new on my original blog page? I typed in the address. While that was loading, I decided to check the second window. No new jobs, as expected, so I entered my e-mail address, to open mail that had a phone number of a person I was supposed to call for an article on Montessori I was writing for www.mykidsupport.com. While that was searching, I went over to the book excerpt window, which had a lot of good advice. Should I buy the book? I went back to my third window, to check out the book on amazon.com. It had a high number of stars and positive reviews. Maybe I should order it. What else was on my wishlist to add to the order, to get free shipping on orders over $25? But, I’d better look at that Cambridge job before I forgot about it. I needed to revise my resume with the particulars of the position. Which window was it? The third? I had closed it, so I opened another. But I didn’t want to forget about the book order. Wait; did I remember to try another keyword when I was looking for jobs at the Boston Globe? I had done “Social Studies”, but not “History”. I also realized that I’d lost track of the “Writer’s Digest” blog after I clicked the link. What happened to that window?
Those windows became my life in a laptop. I was trying to keep up with my blog, get a job, and learn how to be a better writer, all the while, laundry was calling my name and ground meat was sitting in the sink, waiting to be spiced and mixed. Suddenly, I realized I was an unemployed writer of a blog (that was sort of two, now) and an educational website, an underemployed teacher, and a mediocre homemaker.
All of this, while listening to my iPod.