I used to be amazed by this when it happened. How come I can do fifteen things at once and he can only do one? Well, I think it's because we're made differently! Are you having a lightbulb moment? This really is going somewhere, I promise.
This week I got tons of stuff done. I also had a revelation about my work habits.
Years ago B.C. (before children), I had the ability to focus for long periods of time; hours even. I'd begin and end a project on the same day. Then the children came along. I remember fussing to a friend about my inability to get anything done for all the interruptions. She gave me this advice that I've used now for almost thirty years. She said, "You have to learn to work piecemeal." I had no idea what she meant never having heard that word before. She explained, "When you sew, instead of trying to make the whole thing at one time, just thread your machine. If you are able, go ahead and lay out your pattern, etc." In other words, learn to work in very small increments.
So that's the way I've trained myself to work, and Flylady says the same thing. You can conquer the world fifteen minutes at a time. That's great advice and really keeps you from being frustrated. You eventually get things done.
But now that I'm in a position to have longer stretches of time to work, I don't know what to do. My attention span is almost zero or about fifteen minutes long! I'm going to have to retrain myself to think. The book The Power of an Hour by Dave Lakhani that I'm reading does just that. He says that great amounts of work can be done in an hour of focused attention.
Studies have shown that it takes about twenty minutes to get in "the zone". I've found this to be exactly right. I love when the zone happens. The world fades away. It's just you and your work. It's a very satisfying place to be.
So that's what I'm going to try to do this month. I'm going to make myself stick to a project for an hour at a time. Hopefully I'll be able to retrain myself to work the way I once could. And young women, don't hate me because I have this kind of time now. It took me thirty years to get here! Well, actually twenty seven, but who's counting.