One of the topic of conversations that have come up at our Community Fibre Nights is the idea that there are people out there who knit or crochet and only have ONE project going at a time.
Yes, these are real people, I have not made this up.
So I wanted to share not only my disbelief with you but also some thoughts on this topic. I am a person that has at least 10 projects at a time, they are not all in one craft but I do have a lot. I know that I am not alone in this! Is this detrimental to our learning experience to have so many on the go?
I believe, like almost everything in life, it depends on the person you are as to whether or not it is harmful or beneficial. This type of behaviour where your attention is split in multiple directions can be stressful or overwhelming to some but to others these stressors may be manageable. One study said that multitasking can slow you down, dampen your creativity and even hurt your relationships. (I would disagree with the last point, all of my projects actually keep me from hurting people)
“It’s like a pie chart, and whatever we’re working on is going to take up the majority of that pie. There’s not a lot left over for other things, with the exception of automatic behaviors like walking or chewing gum.” Moving back and forth between several tasks actually wastes productivity, he says, because your attention is expended on the act of switching gears—plus, you never get fully “in the zone” for either activity." (Amanda MacMillan, Health Magazine)
It can't be all bad though can it? Maybe having multiple projects is good as long as you have an organized approach to completing them. Most of the reading I did on the subject stated that having deadlines, keeping things organized, and stating your priorities can help your brain stay sane. So if you are like me there are skills that can be learned to manage our addictions. If you are one of the special ones that only has one project on the go at a time, you are amazing. This post might not have been useful for you.
And for gosh sakes everyone- give your marriage a project title and put it somewhere in your priority list. You might need to have someone around to do the dishes while you are working on your many projects!