I tell my husband, as I get into the car at the end of the day. “Multi-tasking all day. Barely a quiet moment.” I’m so tired, I can’t even speak in proper sentences.
I know his day has been even longer, and equally packed. So I’m hoping for a little mutual commiseration. Okay, what I really want is for him to say: “Aw, poor thing. Let’s go home and have a nice dinner.”
Instead, he glances at me, takes a breath, and says: “You know there’s no such thing as multi-tasking, right? You’ve been serial tasking.” I once again rue the day I gave him a subscription to a psychology magazine as a birthday gift.
Apparently, there’s no way the brain can do two things at the same time. You can’t actually type an e-mail while having a phone conversation – you wouldn’t do both tasks as well. You may miss out snippets of what’s being said, or make typos in your e-mail. What we think of as multi-tasking is actually switching from one task to another in a heartbeat.
I’m inclined to agree with him. The reason I feel so drained is not because I’ve been moving from one task to another so quickly, but because I’ve tried to cut corners and do two things at the same time. The result: I’ve usually had to re-do one thing or another.
The lesson I’ve learnt is that I need to make better use of the little pockets of time I have, so I can pack in more tasks, but focus on one at a time. This issue, we asked real women how they manage this – see their tips on page 72. In the same story, we also have a slew of beauty products that do triple duty, multi-way clothes and home appliances that do several things at once.
Other stories to tear out and keep: Turn to page 20 for our ideas for a failsafe wardrobe, so you can be ready for work in 15 minutes – great colour combos that go beyond boring black and white, and silhouettes that work for any figure. Want to get ahead at work? On page 84 are 10 phrases you should be saying to your boss (the Simply Her team have been saying these to me since reading the story!). And don’t miss our noodle recipes on page 106 – piping hot bowls of comfort you can whip up quickly.
This October, join Simply Her in the fight against breast cancer. Turn to page 68 to read about the women – and men – who have committed their time and efforts to this worthy cause. And don’t forget to support the Pink Ribbon products and activities happening through the month – proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Foundation. It’s a good time to schedule a mammogram, or start doing regular breast self-checks, too.
PENELOPE CHAN, EDITOR PS. Thanks for all your lovely letters. E-mail us at email@example.com or write to us at 82 Genting Lane, Media Centre Level 7, S(349567), and keep sending in your wonderful ideas.