Some say it’s impossible to multitask. I say, just multi-ask and I’ll show you how it’s done via a series of happy and helpful tips to help you further optimize the spreadsheet schedule that has become your life.
The plight of the 21st century citizen is having too much to do with too little time to procrastinate. Perhaps this is the result of socio-industrial pressures encouraging unhealthy levels of productivity to the point where humanity has lost sight of the most important things in life. But more likely, that’s all astrology voodoo and what humans need to know is how to multitask better.
In a few sentences, I will suggest activities that can be done concurrently so you can save time, get more done, and therefore have greater self-worth. These are honestly the majority of the viable multitasks, but if you happen to know of another, send it to The Collegian at Collegian@wallawalla.edu, we’d love that. I’d love that.
Let’s begin with the least productive part of your day: sleep. Surveys say that 100% of people waste time sleeping. First idea: replace your mattress topper with a large sponge imbued with soap, shampoo, conditioner, and additional fruit-scented scrubs to your preference. This nocturnal sponge-bath removes the need for showers, saving you between 5-20 minutes in the morning or evening, as well as the effort of reaching your upper back. Additionally, sponges are a certified unobtrusive material, so your REM sleep will continue smoothly.
Second idea: Facetime your friends while you sleep. In these unprecedented, precedent-less times, many of us don’t get enough quality time with our friends, family, and significant others. Rather than prioritizing your loved ones, just Facetime them as you drift off. You’ll get between 5-9 hours with them and running out of talking points will never be an issue (I.e. you can stop pretending, “I swear I had something to say, but now I forgot, lol...”).
Now for our next category, multitasking in the shower. The shower is an everyday ritual with lots of potential. People have begun exploring this area already, for example brushing their teeth in the shower. It’s fun until you drop your toothbrush and then you’re standing sadly under your low-pressure shower head wondering if any of your shower products can possibly sanitize the toothbrush or if you’ve lost that brush forever....
Consider watering your plants while you shower. Instead of taking 20 trips between the sink and each of your luscious leafy friends, just stick them in the shower and water away. Plants have a strong preference for Irish Spring. The same general concept can be applied to washing clothes. The bonus there is that you don’t even have to take your clothes off when you shower, just mosey on in.
Our next category is music. The post-baroque human generally has a love for music, but little time to intentionally listen to it. You might be wondering when it’s a good idea to work music into what you’re already accomplishing, so I compiled a list for you:
Moving on to exercise multitasking. It’s like I always say, if it’s been 15 minutes and your coffee still hasn’t encouraged your bowels to move, add a pinch of extreme exertion. But seriously, these two pair seamlessly. You grind coffee, you grind at the gym. One second, you’re bench pressing, the next you’re French pressing; who can say when you switched? Now I feel like I’ve said the word grind too many times...
If you haven’t called your mom in a while, or, I don’t know, your sister who left you behind to study abroad in Italy or something like that, finding the time to chat over the phone can be tough, (or “difficile” in Italian). What I do is call my loved ones when I’m running. All the breathing and crunchy shoe sounds make hearing the conversation hard, but when they’re using an Android, you can barely hear them anyways.
Here comes another one: workout your legs while you read. I wall sit for one minute on every vertical surface in my home (I.e. front window, microwave door, the Chex box on the counter that my roommate keeps mentioning) and place the book and/or ancient manuscript betwixt my thighs. The reading gets harder when my legs start shaking, which is why I avoid books with more complexity than young adult fiction (*looks side to side to make sure everyone agrees that’s definitely the reason*).
How do we multitask when we’re supposed to have a singular focus, like at work you ask? What can we justify dividing our attention? After extensive discussion and pointed reflection, I’ve come to an answer that feels conservative, but reasonably inclusive:
The next opportunity for multitasking is household chores. You may have tried watching TV while you’re washing dishes or laundry. However, you likely have not tried watching other people watching TV. Or watching other people watching other people watching TV. That experience can be extrapolated several layers further to better suit your people-watching needs.
Also, try reading/watching the news while you clean the stove. When you are inevitably met with a crippling disappointment in society, you can just place the newspaper or device directly onto the red-hot burner where it will slowly char like civilization itself. Another fun and fresh idea is vacuuming while you trim your beard/shave whatever you’re shaving. For every hair that drifteth to the ground, the Stark uniball 2000 shall sucketh it up and away.
The final category is communication. For me, good communication has been a challenge to develop as I enter adulthood, but it’s helped me grow a lot. But one TedTalk and 4 business days of practice later, here I am on the other side, communicating better than Houston (just a little uncalled-for NASA joke for you).
I suggest moisturizing and sending texts in rapid succession. For every application of face or body lotion, your finger will slide across that precious pane of glass with greater and greater ease. None of your communicants will be able to compete with your texting speeds, however you may experience a lotion-based loss of accuracy.
I’ve also found if you need to have a serious discussion with someone, it often goes better over food. Try inviting people over for serious smoothies, and whenever they get too vulnerable, defensive, or accusatory, just Vitamix right over them. Consider your conflicts resolved.
Runner-up multitasks to try at your own discretion:
Cover Photo: Nathan: Rookie mistake, only washing the dishes when you’re washing the dishes. Photo by unsplash.com.
Oscar: Zero notifications. That’s how many you can have if you multitask. Photo by unsplash.com.