Thursday, April 9, 2009

Less Can Be More

No, I do not keep all of these items on my desk...just some of them like the steno pad (to-do list), the Post-It notes in every room, along with a pen, for ideas (so I do not have to depend upon memory), and of course, there is always paperwork to do. The files in the shop, the files in my desk, the files in the locked fire proof cabinet. The emails to follow on both the PDA and the PC. The land line phone so I can still send faxes. The camera is always charged up. Sound familiar? And look waht I did yesterday, announced my Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter contact names. And thank you, friends, sincerely, I will be showing up again! Your emails and contacts meant so very much to me.

I have been in deep thought this week. The kidding season is coming to an end and the brain is functioning much better. Going from the typical "I am having kids" zombie state to "I am beginning to see the light again, and my brain is growing sharp again," is a great time. It means enjoying the kids even more, and it usually mean re-thinking life itself for me. I have been working on personal goals this week...better to start them later in the year than not at all!!!

I have a very good talent, as most women seem to possess, and many men. A talent that is not so good sometimes. And it seems to be a growing state of being for the population in general at the present. The talent is multi-tasking. I can multi-task like I have earned a crown for it. While multi-tasking is necessary at times, it is not always good. This is where I am saying less is more.

Have you ever caught yourself sitting down at your computer, with four different windows open, attempting to complete many tasks all at once? Uh-huh, that is me. If you shadowed me at work you would notice the following on many occasions; I am paying a bill in one window, sending an email in another, blogging in one more window, and updating the website all at the same time. And guess what is happening while I am doing this? My blood pressure is slightly rising because the satellite cannot keep up with my requests, I am irritated at Blogger because it seems way too slow, and I am thinking about what I need to do and cannot do because the computer is moving so slowly. What is up with that? It is nonsense, and I will be making a huge effort to make a change. Remember the old saying patience is a virtue? It is. Do you see yourself in any of this?

We do a much better job when we handle few tasks at once. First of all, we can think. Second, we are much more happy. Third, the outcome really is that we focus on what is most important and begin to see success.

Today I practiced what I preached. I fed the bottle babies, fed the rest of the herd, washed the dishes and mopped the floor (amazing that I completed something that I had not had time to do recently). I sent the husband to town to run a few chores. When he came back, I was ready for lunch, and ready to head out to the shop to make lotion. And it felt good to have accomplished so very much. I did just what was absolutely necessary. At one point I caught myself trying to send an email while water was heating up in the kitchen, and I caught myself looking up the to-do list while putting goat milk in the freezer, and later I caught myself with phone in hand, ready to send a message to someone! One thing at a time, one thing at a time. And everything in its own time! And less stress...ahhhh.

Again, less is more because there is no irritation, and the job gets done with a lot of quality and progress is able to been seen.

Life was probably not made to be this crazy, was it? When we feel overwhelmed, or feel like we cannot get it all done, our minds and bodies are telling us something. What do we need to get rid of, what do we need to focus on? Because when we are fretting, we are not doing a good job of anything. We are making mistakes and we are not thinking clearly. And what else is happening? Life is zooming by us 100 MPH. That is not good.

Did I lose you in the long post?

Honestly, I had decided to not write any more of these types of blog posts because I am not an expert, just someone that feels compassionate enough to write her thoughts down from time to time. The decision to not write flew away quickly! My philosophy has been, I hope I touch just one life when I do get the urge to share these thoughts!


KathyB. said...

You did not lose me in your post. I don't mind reading a little bit. I guess many of us don't have time to read because we are multi-tasking!I seem to have at least 4 or 5 things going on at once all the time. This electronic and computerized world does not seem to allow for a break at all. That is why my cell phone, which I rarely use, is in the car. For emergencies! That is why voice-mail picks up messages should someone call and need to reach me and I am in the middle of something needful here at home..I check messages regularly, but hate talking on the phone. The phone is a tool that SERVES me, not the other way around. My family is very much like me and we know how to get in touch with each other if necessary.

Once in awhile I call people just to keep in touch, and I hope they only pick up and answer when they have the time to talk.

I love e-mail, but wish more people would actually communicate with it, instead of just sending forwards. Like people used to write letters. Letters that took time to form thoughts and feelings and actually write. How hard would that be using e-mail?

When things are too hectic, I sit in a pleasant spot here at home and deliberately set my timer for an hour break, and have tea, a snack, and read....for pleasure. That is what I would do if I had a clock-in job!And it helps me put some things into perspective and gives me quiet time to think.

p.s. T.V. does not go on in our home during the day...I like quiet...and the ability to hear birds, rain on the sky lights, sheep. etc..,

I hope you achieve that balance you need to stay physically and mentally happy!Good post!

Alix said...

Perfect timing for this post, Mary. And as usual, you are right on!

I was starting dinner Wednesday night - just warming a couple of teaspoons of olive oil in my Le Creuset dutch oven when the dryer buzzer went off. I quickly headed to the laundry room to fold. When I got back to the kitchen my gorgeous expensive pot had been permanently scortched with a black burn mark on the bottom and the room was filled with smoke from the oil burning off. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Now I know where my son gets his ADD from.

So I agree with you. Less is more than enough.

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Alix, oh no!!

Kathy, this post spawned from myself, but what brought a lot of these things to my attention was a couple of radio broadcasts and posts on friends blogs, including yours. I love it how it takes other people sometimes to open our own eyes.

We have too many electronics to keep up with, yet, look what I did this week, began seeking out my friends on Facebook, etc... . I am certainly not complaining. Everything is good with moderation and control.

I love your comments, and I admire you for what you do with things in your life. You keep it real. We all have to, and we all have to keep working on it (if we want to). I do!

Jennifer said...

I stink at multi-tasking...I can't even listen to music and do homework or other types of paperwork at the same time. I can't talk on the phone and someone in the house at the same time. I can manage to chew gum and walk at the same time...barely.

I know sometimes it is a necessity, but I do think constant multi-tasking can wear a person down. Sometimes it is hard to realize we just can't do it all, even though we want too. Please keep up these very well written and thought inspiring posts, they are very good.