TSS: One Thing at a Time

Good morning, friends!

I have been feeling a lot of frustration lately with what feels like an inability to get things done. Twitter is certainly a contributing factor when it sucks me into things, but I think there’s more than that, I can’t get things done even when I do ignore Twitter. For instance, I’ll try to write a post and then click over to my email and get caught up in that for awhile, or to LibraryThing and read through a couple of discussions, then I’ll realize that I’m *way* behind on my Google Reader, so I’ll click over there and read a few posts, back to my email…next thing I know 2 hours have passed and I’ve read email but not answered any, I still haven’t made any significant progress in my Google Reader, and my post is only half written. Substitute writing a post for cleaning the kitchen and putting away other random things for those other tasks and you see my lack of productivity offline as well.

This. Is. Not. Working.

I was talking about my frustrations with Nicole this week (surprisingly, not on Twitter), and she agreed to try a uni-tasking experiment with me this week. We are going to do our best to work on doing One Thing At A Time. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to listen to audiobooks while I clean and I may leave uninteresting TV on sometimes as background noise, but if I am writing a post, I am going to write a post. If I am working on email, I’m going to work on email. If I’m picking up the house, I’m going to pick up the house. This may mean that you see me on Twitter less often, but hopefully it will give me more quality time to devote to everything, so maybe I’ll finally actually make it around to your blogs!

Starting tomorrow morning, I’m going to limit the number of browser windows I have open to 3.  If I need to open another window for what I’m doing, something else (email, Twitter) will have to be closed entirely. My other tools this week will be Todoist.com, where I’ll be keeping my to-do list and the chronograph/countdown timer app I put on my Blackberry. Wish me luck! I’ll try to update you on my progress next Sunday.

In slightly more reading related news, I finished 6 books this week.

Before you get too excited, though, just three were actually novels:

I also finished two audiobooks:

And one 100 page workbook on sleep (and I didn’t read the parts that didn’t pertain to Daniel), because we’ll be trying some new stuff in that arena too.

Did you read anything good this week?

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22 comments to TSS: One Thing at a Time

  • I wish you well on your endeavor. I’ve recently picked up crochet and I’m doing that when I should be doing everything else. You’re so right about it not having to be Twitter or the like. I’ll be interested to see how your experiment goes.

    Good luck with this sleeping workbook. I never felt terribly successful in that arena.

  • I definitely think that we are a product of our technological advances. As a teacher I know the attention span of my tweens are small so i make sure that I add an element of surprise and change in my lessons. We have constant movement, multi-tasking, etc.

    I remember studying in college how this multi-tasking alters the brains pathways. The brains of these generations look quite different than mine, or even my mom’s because of the amount of stimuli.

    I think what intrigues me so much about eastern philosophy and religion is their mediative lifestyle. I know I need to multi-task less. Good goal.

  • As I’m reading this post, I have about six browser tabs open! Doing one thing at a time sounds like a great idea. Good luck to you and Nicole.

  • That sounds like a good plan. I might have to do something similar myself, since lately I’ve been noticing how much time I lose simply by being online and going back and forth between the things you mentioned in your post. It’s getting ridiculous.

  • I have the same problem! Night before last, I was on Twitter, chatting with an old college friend on Facebook, writing a post, and watching TV with Kevin. I need to cut back on the multi-tasking, too, I think.

    I loved Paper Towns when I read it- Green is terrific. I finished Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie & Foklore in the Literature of Childhood by Jane Yolen – an excellent book of essays – this week. Am down to the last 100 pages or so of Admission, which I’m also enjoying.

    Hope you have a great Sunday!

  • Good luck with your experiment! I do think we are bombarded with so much information these days that it just overwhelms us. I also think it makes us need constant stimulation. I’ll be interested to see how things go for you.

  • What a great post – I’m really motivated now to just get things done, rather than being so distracted by all the online things clamoring for my attention. Good luck this week!

  • I’m feeling your pain. I’ve been complaining to myself (not the husband, he would not understand!) about how on earth to visit blogs, answer e-mails, tend to Facebook, write reviews, read my magazines…God forbid READ! Or clean my house, feed my kids, or work out! PLUS, I just got an iPhone which keeps calling out for me to play with it. I need to regroup and reprioritize!!!!!

  • I didn’t realize that you had finished Sag Harbor. I am about half way through and multi-tasking for all I am worth before tomorrow.

  • Good luck with your project — I’ll be curious to hear how it goes. I’m a major multitasker, but I sometimes wonder if by trying to do lots of things I end up not really doing anything. Quite a conundrum!

  • Go you! This is exactly why I tend to go offline completely when dinner is over. Yep, I’ll miss out on some great Twitter challenge or project or conversation, but there will be something else later.

    When I was mostly offline this weekend, I was thinking about how great it was to be free.

  • Good luck with Daniel’s new sleep routine!

    I am guilty of multi tasking. In fact, my boss is constantly reminding me to stay focused on one thing. Little does he know that is impossible!! Sounds like you have some good guidelines though, so good luck!

  • What did you think of Sag Harbor? That one’s been in my “to read” pile forever and I just uncovered it yesterday while cleaning off my bookshelf.

  • Amy

    I am impressed! Good luck :)

  • I love this plan! Looking forward to hearing how it goes over the week. Probably something I should consider as well… as I look at my five running programs and 10 tabs in Firefox [sheepish grin?]

  • I recently read that multi-tasking doesn’t work. You just end up doing a bunch of things badly.

    Here’s an example, I was making my bed and thought of something else to do. I wandered off to do it and later went out. My husband came home in the meantime. He called me on the cell and asked, “Is everything alright?” I was confused and told him everything was fine. He said, “I found the bed half made. It looked like you left in the middle of making it. I thought you got an emergency call or something.” I freaked him out. Now I always finish making the bed once I start it.

    I really should apply that to blogging.

  • This is a great idea! I wish I had the capacity to stop multi-tasking but sadly I’ve become unable to do one thing at a time.

    Good luck!

  • Great idea! I think I might have to play along. I find the same thing happening to me all of the time. I’ve tried to stop looking at Facebook once I’m home from work and have all but given up on Library Thing and most of my Goodreads groups. Because, really, you could spend all day doing/talking about bookish things!

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