Back in my early adulthood, I thought I was overwhelmed when I had a couple of issues at the same time; say one personal and one work issue. Mind boggled. But I slowly adjusted and found that I could handle a couple of different issues at the same time and maintain regular stuff as well.
Then I had kids and had to mentally juggle my stuff, house stuff and their stuff. Sometimes I missed a few balls, but I did pretty well because there became an ebb and flow to activity that followed the school year. My mind could rest a bit here and there.
I’ve had periods, sometimes years, when I had to adjust to constant mental juggling, without the relief of that ebb in activity. Mostly I think I met the challenge. Often by letting less important things fall to the wayside for a bit.
I was told once, by someone who should know, that our minds are suited to holding 7-9 thoughts or ideas in short term memory. Any more and something has to go to long term memory or get dropped off the mental cliff.
So this idea of time management (and information management) is more than being in the right place at the right time with the right tools, it is conquering your short term and long term memory capabilities – because I know plenty of people, particularly women, who are trying to shove 25 items into their short term memory and feeling frazzled as a result.
I just rewrote my current to-do list of reasonably important tasks, appointments and such. (Yes, still using pen and paper because that act helps me to keep everything clear.) I am scheduling a roof replacement that has been on my list for about 3 years. (The contractor said he has seen worse roofs, but I don’t want to get backed into that corner so getting this off my list will be a relief. The next heavy rain won’t make me cringe.)
A few things were completed and didn’t have to be carried over onto the new list. And a couple of things came up in the intervening time and had to be done without even making it onto the official list. I remembered a few things that should have been on the last list, but got lost in the nether regions of my mind. Plus a few new things. So the list is longer and looks like I haven’t gotten anything done. (Sigh.)
How many things can you mind juggle? And do you live with the constant sense that you are forgetting something?
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