Irish Daily Mail - YOU



29 JANUARY 2022

The ability of women to multi-task has become something of a cliche. But it’s one of those things that has become a cliche because it’s true. Every woman I know is a warrior at multitaski­ng. Whether it’s minor things like doing the dishes as we cook, which in my experience men are utterly incapable of doing, or major things like juggling childcare and work, which so many were forced into over the past couple of years, we seem to be far more adept at it than men. It’s so ingrained in me at this stage that I don’t even realise I’m doing it – most of the time, it’s just part of life. But sometimes at the end of the day, when you sit back and think of all you’ve achieved that day, it’s a monstrous amount. But on page 28 of today’s issue, you’ll read an article that extols the virtues of ‘monotaskin­g’, trying to do one thing at a time. This is so alien to me, I can’t even imagine trying to do it. I feel like I always have to have several things going on at once in order to achieve everything that needs doing. If I was confined to doing one thing at a time, I feel like I wouldn’t get a huge amount done. But the counter-argument makes sense – by concentrat­ing on one thing you get each item ticked off your list a lot quicker. My line of work probably makes it a little more difficult. From morning until night, I need to be listening to a news source, whether that’s the radio on in the background or tuning into the TV news or documentar­ies at night. I’ve developed the skill of listening without really hearing, recognisin­g when I need to tune in properly. But it can be distractin­g and prevent me from fully concentrat­ing on the task in hand. Friends and family will also tell you of the impossibli­ty of getting me to focus on everything they’re saying during phone calls – something else will always catch my ear. Probably the only true monotask time I get is when I read my Kindle in bed at night. My phone is left in the sitting room and I’ve no distractio­ns, apart from the pull of sleep. Sometimes it’s ten minutes, sometimes it’s an hour, depending on how tired I am and how interestin­g the book is. I love having this time to myself and when I go abroad or to a weekend down the country, one of my favourite things is to curl up with a book. Reading is one of the central tenets of monotaskin­g, mainly because it’s virtually impossible to do anything else at the same time. For this reason, it’s used as one of the initial building blocks. So I guess if I’ve mastered that, I can start to train myself in other areas too. I’m definitely going to give it a go and I guess I’ll find out if it’s a help or a hindrance. If you open the magazine in a couple of weeks and there’s no column here because I was too busy doing something else, then you’ll have your answer!

Enjoy the issue.

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