April 28, 2018

A Watched Pot and Multi-tasking

Posted in Emotional Maturity, Personal Image tagged , , , , at 11:08 am by Yvonne LaRose

Too much going on

Too much going on

Ever heard the old adage, “A watched pot never boils.” It seems to be true. You sit and wait for an interminable amount of time and that blessed event of having the water finally come to a boil seems to take forever – if ever.

One of the reasons for the enormous wait time is a bit like waiting for Christmas when you’re a small child. There’s nothing else that’s meaningful that needs to be done in order to fill in the time except grow, learn, play, be respectful, and all the rest of that stuff. Twelve months was a huge amount of time and very little of the space was actually devoted to building toward the next milestone. There were small episodes of multi-tasking to prepare for the next visit from Santa but (like that watched pot) we didn’t notice that we were adding to the holiday stockpile. We were simply passing time.

But we really were multi-tasking during those other 11 months. Which brings me to my point. Multi-tasking is not doing several things simultaneous while telling ourselves we are brilliant because of how many things are being done. Remember the carnival act where the performer gets five, six, even ten plates to spin on sticks without having any of them fall and break? That’s an extreme example of multi-tasking but that isn’t what it is.

The performer was multi-tasking by virtue of the fact that they pulled out a plate and a stick. Spinning the plate began and then that stick was place on a platform. The next stick-plate combo was then started, and then the next, and the next, and the next. There were periodic checks on the initial plates to make certain they were still spinning or re-enforce their motion while even the next plate-stick combination was prepared and started.

Real Life

It’s a bit unreasonable to go around spinning plates on sticks and then saying we’re able to multi-task. However, think about your daily routines and what you do in order to economize on time and effort to accomplish a particular goal. Let’s use getting ready for work as an example.

The first thing that happened was awaking for the day. You rose out of bed. Before leaving the bedside, you straightened the covers (made the bed) so that duty no longer needed attention. You could move on to other tasks.

Perhaps the coffee maker was prepared the night before. All that was necessary to start the fresh pot of coffee was to turn it on as you made your way to the bathroom to brush your teeth and the other routine hygiene practices of the day. By the time you returned to the kitchen, the coffee was ready.

However, the preparation of breakfast could also be done in stages. If it was making a cooked item, the example of multi-tasking was complete in just that single responsibility. There was choosing the correct cooking utensils for the food to be prepared, starting the heat and getting the right temperature to cook – not burn – the meal. While starting one ingredient, the other items were being chopped or measured and added to the vessel. (Some stirring may be involved to avoid burn and to mix whatever should become a blended concoction.)

Ultimately

Multi-tasking is actually all about organization, systematic prioritization, and focus. There are some things that are so basic, so fundamental, that little attention to detail is required. They can be accomplished while other (sometimes related) things are being developed. Flaws in those processes are inconsequential, thus, other things can be done at the same time – while things are cooking.

There are other things that require a lot of precision and exactness. At those times, it is wise to devote full attention to the details. Distractions should be avoided. In other words, exactness and precision are not the times when attention should (or can) be divided in order to have quality outcome. Precision and exactness do not pair well with multi-tasking – unless, of course, it is part of a distinct stage of the development.

Examples? We’ve Got ‘Em

So you’re building a rocket. The parts can be ordered while the platform is being prepared. Putting the parts into an area where they can be stored and accessed when needed can be done before the order is delivered. Putting the parts together to make a functioning rocket requires full attention to getting the right pieces into the right places and properly affixed before jettisoning the instrument.

Writing your resume requires attention to details and organization as well. A Post-It Note construction thrown together and then tossed at an online job board proclaiming it was done while doing five other things is not going to make a huge positive impression on the desired employer. But then, how much research went into making the application to the right job or employer?

Multi-tasking is about doing things in organized stages. Some short-term things can be done while building toward the long-range final product.

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April 11, 2018

Behind the Scenes

Posted in Emotional Maturity, Personal Image tagged , , , , , at 2:14 pm by Yvonne LaRose

A Churning Ocean at Sunset or a Beacon?

A Churning Ocean at Sunset or a Beacon?


Well, it seems this is a little tardy for what it was intended to do back on March 21. But the message still applies and was underscored in regard to its importance. The message was all set to be published except for a couple of minor, fine tuning details. Somehow a “bug” affected my browser and it crashed, taking the entire blog post with it while not preserving any of the auto-saved content. This happened five more times.

Did I learn my lesson after the first crash, or the second? Nope. I continued to strive to share the content. In the process, I became increasingly discouraged. About two weeks later (a new anti-virus software, and a support ticket opened for the browser), it finally dawned on me to save often and save in an alternate space as well.

That’s part of the message from last month. Although we want to put forth the perfect image to the world, there are things that happen that either prevent that from happening or cause delays in the manifestation. It’s the behind the scenes stuff that we just don’t talk about. It’s a bit embarrassing to have the world know about our “failures.”

They’re not failures. They’re learning opportunities. They’re called gaining experience. It’s the stuff of shaping how much determination we have for our goals. And the stuff that happens that impacts immediate compared with delayed is called Life. Life happens.

Life stories is what I wanted to share with you via a guest podcast from Mark Minard. He graciously consented to allow use of his Facebook Live episode to share some significant stories about the stuff we don’t see that went into creating that perfect image.

Without further ado, please go over to the “Entrances: Refueling” channel to hear Mark’s message and grow from it. Be inspired by it. You’ll find it at “The Back Story” on YouTube.

Well, actually, you could also subscribe to the channel so you’ll know about other additions and guest appearances. And you could leave a comment or strike up a conversation about what you heard. I’m certain Mark would love to have you visit his site to hear more of his inspiring messages.

Just realize that just because there are setbacks is not a reason to give up. Simply take a break to consider what happened. Then re-strategize and continue on your journey to being the best you know you can be. Let that part of you show. When it comes to the interview question about how you feel about your disappointments, share one item and take responsibility for what happened while also talking about the intensified growth that came out of that experience as well as how that knowledge can be used to the potential employer’s benefit for helping to make their business more successful.

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