Multi-tasking

Sometimes men and women approach projects so differently. If my husband Russ is working on something, he hyper focuses only on it and can tune everything else out until it’s done. If I ask him a question, he’ll say hold on and will never, ever answer the question. I always think to myself when will you ever learn to wait until he’s done? If I still remember what the question is, I’ll ask when he’s done if I still want the answer. Maybe he’s just hoping I’ll forget. When he’s working, he doesn’t even hear the phone ring! If I come home from somewhere and see there’s a message on the machine, I’ll ask who called and he’ll say, “I have no idea.” How do you not hear someone leaving a message when you’re feet from the phone? If the kids yell “Dad” while he’s working, he doesn’t hear them either. At least that’s what he says. Then there’s me. I start a project, but someone asks me a question so now I’m focused on that. The phone rings, I run to it. On the way back to the project, I see the dishes I need for dinner are dirty so I start on those. The kids ask for help with something, I abandon the dishes and switch to that. I see the dog dish is out of water, I grab that to take to the sink. Going back through the kitchen, I realize I didn’t put any thought into dinner so I start thinking about that. I then see the outgoing mail with no stamps on them, so I go to get the stamps out of the drawer, only to see some receipts that weren’t entered into the checkbook yet so I then turn to that. Stamps never make it to the mail because then I remembered I need to add some groceries to the list before I forget for my son going back to college. Meanwhile, Cooper’s dish is CLOSER to the sink but never gets his water bowl filled. Completely forgot about the project…it’s like it never existed. I don’t know whose approach is better, Russ who finishes the project and neglects everything else, or me for starting 10 projects and finishing none. I call it extreme multi-tasking. In other words, is it better to be slightly oblivious like him, or mostly distracted like me? Is it a left-brain analytical side vs. a right-brain creative side thing? It most likely stems from him working full time, driven by daily projects…whereas I’ve been a stay at home Mom for decades, putting out fires as they arise from minute to minute with no opportunity whatsoever for concentrating. You can’t even use the bathroom in peace when you’re raising kids because they’ll yell through the door what they need. When they’re really little you put their little bouncy chair right in there with you. That doesn’t happen at Russ’s work. Nobody is sitting in a bouncy chair waiting for him in the men’s room, making demands. His boss doesn’t yell for him through the bathroom door either. At least I hope not! Maybe he does, but Russ just focuses on the task at hand in the restroom and tunes him out. I guess it doesn’t matter which approach the people in our lives use, whether it be our kids, bosses, employees, spouses, etc., it’s just best to figure out their style and work around it! In either case, Cooper is still waiting for his water…..

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