Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Dangers of Multi-Tasking

Vase of flowers - sketch
Pitt brush pen and Inktense pencils in Moleskine watercolor sketchbook
©2011 Stacy L. Rowan

Forgive me for any typos you find in this blog post. I am trying to type without using one of the fingers on my left hand.

I burnt my pointer finger tonight while I was making dinner. I accidentally grabbed the handle of the frying pan below the plastic portion. Not smart. Especially since I did the same thing two weeks ago. (Luckily I am right handed so I can still hold a pencil or paint brush.)

You might be tempted to believe I am a slow learner, having made the same mistake twice in one month. But I believe the truth to be more about distraction.

I was in a hurry trying to get dinner on the table before everyone had to be run to their evening activities. I was thinking of all the things I had to do after dinner. And tomorrow. And the next day. And every day between now and Christmas.

I wasn't thinking about how this pan is lighter than my cast iron skillet so I don't need to grab it so far down the handle. I wasn't thinking about how the plastic handle doesn't continue all the way to the bowl of the pan.

Distraction from multi-tasking seems to be a pretty common part of modern life. From applying make-up or talking on the cell phone while driving, to reading the paper while eating breakfast, or taking care of emails while "watching" kids sporting events.

People pride themselves on being able to accomplish multiple things at once.

However, one of the things I have realized that I love about days spent is my studio is the luxury of concentrating on one thing at a time. When I am creating art I have a singular focus. And I love it.

I love not having to juggle multiple tasks. I love getting engrossed in the creative process and not caring, or even noticing, that the hours are sliding by.

The act of creating art quiets my mind. The quiet feels peaceful, relaxing. It allows me to enjoy the activity at hand, and the moment I am living in, without thinking about or worrying about what the next hour or day or month will bring.

I want more of that feeling in my life.

I want less of the busy, multi-tasking, grabbing the hot pan feeling.

Next time I'll tell you some of my ideas on how to have a less busy life. I realize the blister on my finger points to my needing more practice with this concept. After tonight's run in with the frying pan I suddenly have a burning desire to do just that.


Rose Welty said...


I also frequently burn (and slash) myself in the kitchen. You are right - it's probably being distracted!

Hope it heals up quickly. I'll be looking for those ideas. :D

Jennifer Rose said...

ow ow ow! hopefully that heals quickly

the hours in class fly by because I get so focused on one thing, its great :)

Stacy said...

Hi ladies! Thankfully the burn is healing quickly and no longer hurts.I kept it wrapped in a damp cloth for the night and that worked wonders.