2. Is it better to focus on one thing or many things?

I have a lot going on in my life: my main job is to take care of my four children,. But then I’m also trying to take care of my house and my yard and work on our renovation.

In our renovation, we have a lot of projects going on at the same time. We’re doing our bathroom and our electrical and trying to figure out flooring.

I’m also working on a data science class, editing a book I wrote, writing this blog, doing a free online philosophy class, and preparing for the GRE. (And I spent a lot of time today reading a book.)

Would it be better if I just focused on one thing?

I know switching focus takes a lot of time, so it seems to be more efficient if I just completed something before adding in other projects.

On the other hand, I get bored easily. When I’m working on lots of different things, it feels like I’m getting more done.

I don’t have an answer to this. Any thoughts?

4 comments

  1. As a mom it is impossible to only do one thing. Kids are important but so are many other things. I remember reading in a book a way long time ago when my kids were young about this. The author was kind of having a dilemma because she was involved in a small orchestra group and playing tennis, both activities that were really just for her. She was wondering if the time away was hurting her family. Then one day she heard her little girl tell someone that she can’t wait to grow up and be a mom because they have so much fun. So she was actually being a better mom by not always hovering over everything the kids did.
    Balance is important, and with that balance we need to feel connected to things we love so we can love more. Not really the answer to the question directly but some thoughts.

    1. I like that thought. Mom guilt is really easy–that if we do anything that isn’t taking care of kids, it’s not the right thing. But we need to set an example for our kids too in how to live and do many different things.

  2. We can only do one thing at any moment. There’s a Ted Talk by Tim Hartford, that talks about “Slow-motion multi-tasking.” A good read/watch. I’ve read elsewhere that our mind doesn’t actually need rest, it needs change. Working on multiple projects at the same time can give our mind the change it needs to continue to be creative and engaged.

    I think the flip side is, that we still have to have priority to things that are the most important, and give enough time to projects to finish them in a reasonable timeline.

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