I do not have a multi-tasking personality. In fact, I don’t actually believe that multi-tasking is an effective way to accomplish anything since we aren’t being fully mindful of any one thing at a time while we do multiple things. However, there are people who can juggle multiple tasks and ideas well, whether or not this is a healthy way of handling life. I am not one of those people. I do best with one task at a time, one person speaking at a time – which means I often feel verbally overwhelmed in a house with three teenage girls – one area of focus at a time. This is one reason that participating in the 31 Days project makes writing easier for me. It allows me to focus on one thing to write on at a time for a set period of time. I’m not distracted by a million shiny ideas in my own head and on other people’s blogs.
On the other hand, writing for thirty one days straight has taxed me far beyond what I anticipated. Stretching is good; I am enjoying it. I hope to continue to write with as much enthusiasm and momentum once this project is complete. What I didn’t anticipate was the amount of time writing and organizing my blog would take once I began. Some days I have spent hours on the work, which again isn’t a bad thing. But, before this project began I wrote a post about something that is weighing heavily on me still: Creating Space. Three weeks into October I must confess that I have failed miserably at reducing my unproductive online time. Perhaps even abysmally. Instead of creating space for creativity by limiting online time, I have allowed my online time to increase proportionally to my creativity at the expense of things I am not willing to trade. I have justified it, obviously, by directing my attention to how well this project is progressing and how much I am enjoying it.
Fortunately my friend, Angela reminded me that I can (not) do all (the) things. I don’t know why we need permission to turn off all the voices demanding our attention, but sometimes we do. I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of excitement about this project and let many other things, important things, fall off the wagon making it unbalanced, and making me ill-prepared to handle my days. In short, I’ve been multi-tasking and doing none of the many things as well as I would like, as well as I know I can when I give the proper focus.
I’m confessing this here for two reasons. First of all, I read back over these posts, and it seems like they are written by someone who has it all together. I don’t. But I do have a vision of where and who I want to be and how I plan to get there. It looks good on paper, but I am far from perfect in the execution. It’s a learning and experiencing process. You may need to know that. Secondly, confession lends accountability. There’s a finality to words on paper (or the internet, I suppose). People ask me about what I write. They want to see if the things I spend so much time writing about really are producing the life changes I believe in. Another friend reminded me that I said, “I only have one today in my whole life.” Lately I’ve done very well with talking about living a focused life, and not so well with actually living it. I want to change that now, today.
I’m not stopping the 31 Days project. In fact, I’m hoping that re-narrowing my focus will allow me to continue to produce articles about change, intentional living and hope far more consistently just as I have for the first three weeks of the month. I just wanted you to know that I haven’t forgotten my intentions, I just got divided in my focus for awhile. Now, back to the business of enjoying life.