Oct 20 2009

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The Not So Multi-Task List

Now that I’ve had a bit of sleep, I’m pondering current personal and professional goals, and how I might expect to attain them. Some goals are vague: “I want to write more.” Some are personally-driven: “I need more restful sleep.” Some cry out for priority: “I need more/better organization.”

Some of these goals, like “print a revised second edition of Becoming One“, are huge endeavors, and are overwhelming just trying to prioritize the 200 smaller things required for successful completion. Part of the stumble is that I’m still learning how to do some of those 200 things. I didn’t publish the first edition; I just know what I like about it, and what I want to add or clarify. And I’ve studied best publishing practices for several years now, in anticipation of this need. But actually publishing it, and doing that well, is daunting. My book is my most outward visible expression; it deserves a lot of time and thoughtful consideration.

Meanwhile, getting back into the Internet these last few months is a huge time commitment in itself. The most gratifying thing about the Internet is: for any type of interest, you can find all manner of resources, and how to do it, and other people who want to help you to learn. It’s a gigantic continuing education course, waiting for my brain to sponge it up. It’s a 24-hour playground for someone who just revels in knowledge. Of course, the most frustrating thing about the Internet is: it induces in me a kind of Attention Deficit on very small details. There are so many things to focus upon, you can end up focusing on nothing in particular.

Have I mentioned I am the queen of procrastination before? The other side of that is I want everything done now. Sometimes I can manage to do both, but that’s kind of a learned dissociative task-managing trait, and not all that satisfying.

What I do know is that getting overwhelmed in one area throws the rest of me into it by proxy, and it can take days to subside. (Evidence: I’m still emotionally lagging from getting the taxes done last week.) So my plan is to take these new goals, tasks, endeavors, and skill sets, at a measured pace.

Although it often seems like everything must be done right now, really, why? I’m coming to see it as a form of self-sabotage to try to replicate the 23-hour days that occurred back in the year when I was both finishing Becoming One for first publication, and personally setting up and staffing The Survivors Forum on CompuServe. I don’t need the self-inflicted stress.

That kind of drive may increase output, for awhile, but the costs always catch up. Always. I can do this differently this time, in a way which creates healthier outcomes for me.

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