I understand that multi-tasking, the way it has been advertised, is really a myth. A brain and its attached body have limits. However, the organization and subsequent flow of tasks can have a large impact on how effectively time is used. It doesn’t mean that a person has to be constantly rushing around, trying to fill every moment with productive activity. It just means that a little thought about coordination can go a long way.
Take chicken shepherding, for example. I have explained why I shepherd my chickens some each day, but I don’t want to just sit out in the chicken pen every time, as relaxing as that can be. Sure, I take some time to pet them if they will let me, but a person can only look a chicken in the eye for so long, then it’s time to do something else!
I am used to using this same mental process when I think about taking kids to soccer practice or music lessons; or when I’m planning my attack on chores for the day. How can I make use of my location and traffic patterns? If I need to carry clean laundry downstairs, what item from the pantry was it that I needed to restock? If I have to be sitting and waiting at soccer practice, is it a good time for a run or should I update the check book? What dirty tasks can I do all in a row, so that I don’t have to wash my hands so often?
Here is my current list of options while I am guarding my chickens in their large open pen:
- water pots
- hand sewing or mending
- menu planning
- study discussions with child still taught at home or students debriefing from college
- trim my finger nails
- update the check book
- work on schedule management
- wash the car
- return phone calls
With this list, I can consider on any given day what to do while chicken shepherding. It makes that part of the day both more organized and relaxed. And the chickens are more likely to get out because it is not a strain to fit it in. I guess that makes me “The Organized Chicken Shepherd.” 🙂