Too Many Things

Is it possible to reach a mark where you are trying to juggle more balls than your juggling talent allows?

People who study these types of things will tell you that multitasking is like a mirage—or better, the benefits of multitasking are all a myth–designed to extend us far beyond our functionality. Basically, the more that you have to do, and try to do in combination with something (or somethings) else, your effectiveness diminishes—often exponentially with each successive spinning plate that you add.

For the first time since God knows when, I felt overwhelmed this week. I just have too many damn tasks cluttering my to-do checklist. It’s possible that launching my volleyball officiating trial balloon while working four days in the financial services arena, being on-call at the funeral home 2-3 nights each week, and also driving a few shifts for the Uber have pushed me beyond my capabilities. And then, where the hell does writing fit into this patchwork quilt?

Do you ever feel like a juggling clown?

Do you ever feel like a juggling clown?

My long drive home from Standish after my first JV and varsity volleyball matches last night had me feeling wrung out and wondering, what’s next? Or better, thinking that maybe I could exercise some measure of control over my life, at least for one weekend.

I think I’ll just make like a normal person, at least on Saturday, and simply chill out. Embracing some down time is probably just what the JBE needs at the moment.

5 thoughts on “Too Many Things

  1. You have mentioned the “myth of multitasking” numerous times on this blog. “Psychology Today” is a mainstream media source that many find reliable on a number of topics. Why does no one yet believe that the human brain is not capable of multitasking? Someday, robots and AI will run our lives, but until then I just wish a few more people would sit up and realize that it’s not possible to “do it all.”

  2. I only have two and a half jobs. The big one that eats all my time in the grey cubicle, taking care of my children, and then doing some stuff around the house as time avails. Simpler, but the time is still all gone.

    So despite my qualms at all the stuff that “needs” to be done, I still find myself doing nothing more on Saturday afternoons than reading a book and taking long naps.

    And tonight I’m going to resume my decades-old habit of coming home on Friday afternoons and going to bed around 6pm, just to sleep through to the next morning. (That is, if the general mugginess that has set in around here the past three days finally dissipates.)

    I heartily recommend you try these for yourself.

  3. @JAB I find the AI material that gets released to the public disturbing. I’m sure that things are moving quickly towards some sort of world where we are forced to co-exist with robots assuming more and more of our current duties.

    No, we can’t “do it all,” yet we hopelessly continue to try, with less-than-stellar outcomes.

    @LP There is this constant push to be “doing stuff,” because heaven help us that we didn’t get the house cleaned, or the lawn mowed. Meanwhile, time keeps slipping away and there’s no stanching that.

  4. “Doing it all” and relentlessly pushing myself to do more and to be as good as I can be at all of it has gotten me into quite the “pickle” with a serious health problem that I am now working on learning to live with. So Jim, if you can, let go of some of it.

  5. I can’t help but see these things right away now, but did you notice where the juggling clown is? England, of course. Trademarks include fieldstone facing, dark tile roofs, hedge atop stone wall, glass conservatory, low kerb, scarce chimneys, bad fenestration, alarm mounted outside on the wall just above the bedroom window.

    Turns out it’s a village about an hour north of where I lived, and the photo comes from a web page written by a — get this — self-published writer! Did you know that, or was it serendipity? The blog page is here, I recommend it as a way of emphasizing that there is simply no equivalent to these little village fairs in America. The rest of the blog is worth perusing because she discusses how she plans out her books in some detail.


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