Kelly #11: Multitasking

comparing dial up while reading in rural PA as high speed college WIFI allows for too much to take place

Multitasking: something that too many of us do even though it really is not productive. In the true tradition of my generation, once I got to college my multitasking had to increase ten-fold just to get everything done.

A mere seven years ago when I was in high school the first panel of this comic strip was my reality. It looks much more serene with homemade cookies cooling on the stove and a rare example of Kelly’s brother’s patience. However I do not miss, nor could I ever return to, dial-up days. At home we were lucky to even have the Internet. On a related note: our prepaid cell phones didn’t have full service in our rural county until 2008, a memory that makes me shudder now that I am a smartphone convert.

What a luxury it was then to go to college and actually be able to use the wifi on my laptop! Uploading Facebook photos took mere minutes, not agonizing hours as at home (try explaining to my critical urban friends why I never posted during breaks).

Speaking of which, once Kelly discovered Facebook she had to be continuously connected to that, as well as chat with her high school friends via AOL instant messenger. That takes care of the social aspect of Kelly’s multitasking, but she is also trying to be industrious in the other vital aspects of her life:

  • domestic – sorting her laundry and scarfing down a “healthy” snack
  • cultural – catching up on some TV
  • educational – outlining an important essay.

This method for multitasking would evolve, or in my case devolve. By senior year my four-year-old laptop used to be so decrepit that I would turn it on when my alarm first sounded and it was finally ready for use when my snooze went off eight minutes later. Booting up the computer while sleeping, now that is the kind of multitasking I can get behind!

Perhaps the Pomodoro Technique of focusing on just one task for a set amount of time followed by a short break will work better for me. For now I need to finish this post while I:

  • listen to the weather (thunderstorms in January?)
  • chow on my almond butter covered apple
  • online shop for my mother’s birthday present
  • brush my hair
  • pay my rent
  • respond to my college friend’s email
  • and maybe fit in a few chair dips.

That’s a lot to accomplish before I commute to work, which will include multitasking on the subway as I tackle my reading list and listen to some podcasts.

I know that Kelly and I are not alone: what are some of the craziest things you have done while multitasking?

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