After reading Now Discover your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham a while back, I proudly proclaim -- I'm simply NOT a multi-tasker! You give me a task (please just one) and it will be researched, thoroughly thought out, and then reported upon and/or accomplished. And done right the first time! It takes great effort for me to multi-task anything, and do it well. It's indeed not a weakness, it's just not one of my strengths.
Some women are naturally multi-taskers -- namely my sister Bonnie! 4 kids, 1 on the way, and she seems to do it with ease. She can filter out the noise and still focus. She can cook dinner while talking on the phone, receive a second call on the other line, and entertain an infant in the highchair, all at the same time. Meanwhile, do a load of laundry downstairs! In the end, the meal is perfect, the clothes are clean and dry, the people on the phone feel heard/valued, and the kids feels secure in their mom's love! (My husband wishes to add "She could also be...quite possibly...from another planet!!"
I am her exact opposite: a uni-tasker! You see, in the above scenario, my dinner would be burnt, I'd be pressing buttons on the phone accidentally and lose at least one of the calls (not really hearing anything the person was saying in the first place), and my son would be bored, probably feeding the dog his dinner! And oh yeah,...the clothes would be long-forgotten in the washer, not being dried til the next day when I remember them. No joke. I prefer to do the laundry while I'm sleeping or running errands, make dinner ahead of time while Munchkin sleeps (or do a crockpot meal), and maybe just talk on the phone while I feed him. Everything still gets done, but not all at once, which frazzles me.
I have become better at muti-tasking after I HAD TO, upon entering the "real world" post-college. I even had to 'white lie' through my first job interview or two for small jobs when asked about it, just to get the job! My husband contributes this valuable insight, as well: that your computer's processor is in fact called a "multi-processor' but it actually prioritizes and queues the many tasks you ask of it, then executes them one by one. This is exactly what I have come to do to work around not being a natural mutli-tasker! And now, I could 'pass' as a multi-tasker, but I prefer silence so I can focus and do it right.
And take these seriously successful people for example. 1) Tiger Woods -- known for his ability to focus and be "in the zone." 2) Steve Lescarbeau -- lesser known, but proclaimed a "Stock Market Wizard" as a very successful mutual fund trader who works alone in his thoughts, in his quiet, home-office, away from Wallstreet. So both UNI and MULTI tasking mamas can be proud! It doesn't really matter how we do what we do, just that it's done!
Who says multi-tasking is better than uni-tasking? When did possessing this strength equate to being a good mom? That's my question today for you -- and for myself!