Multitasking and Multi-Multitasking

Recently I read that when we multitask, we don’t do either job well. The take away was: don’t multitask. As a homeschooling mom, I needed to multitask and accept whatever standard I accomplished rather than not doing it at all. For busy moms, we benefit ourselves and our families when we develop the ability to think about what we can easily and effectively multitask and then practice it.

For example, Monday, I was prepping chicken noodle soup, which involved quite a bit of kitchen time. First I chopped the onion to simmer in the soup broth. Because the onion was huge, I used 1/2 of it. Rather than saving the other 1/2 for another day, I opted to multitask. I pulled 4 pounds of ground beef from the freezer to brown and sauté with the onion. We had no meal planned for that ground beef, but having frozen, prepped ingredients to pull for a quick meal is a timesaver for the future.

Since I was going to be in the kitchen peeling, washing, and chopping vegetables anyway, I multitasked by browning and sautéing the beef too.

When I homeschooled, I often multitasked by including a child in what I did. The child learned beside me, and we fellowshipped through it all—multi-multitasking. Often that is the case in the kitchen now, although my girls and I are currently peers in the kitchen. If there is no one else working with me, I listen to Scripture or something educational on my phone. 

What do you do well multitasking?

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“I will therefore that the younger women marry,
bear children, guide the house, give none occasion
to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
(1 Timothy 5:14)

32 thoughts on “Multitasking and Multi-Multitasking”

  1. Hi Teri!
    Multitasking is definitely something I do on a daily basis, and usually am quite good at it.
    I don’t know whether this applies to you as well, but when I successfully complete both tasks, I feel a rather big sense of accomplishment.

    Blessings,

    Alice

      1. I always multitask when I cook. If I’m making soup, I make at least different kinds. Since I have everything out I just listen to music and chop away!It’s just me and my husband, my daughter is away in law school,but I still cool and freeze a lot! I wish I had a big family.like you!

  2. I enjoy listening to sermons while sewing for my grandchildren. We are rich like you in precious grandchildren with which the Lord has blessed us.

    1. Lenora, that’s a great way to multitask. I miss my sewing days. Sewing is one of the hardest things on my back so I simply don’t do it anymore, but I sure loved it when I could do it.

  3. You can slice the onion and dehydrate it in the oven at 225 laid out on parchment. When significantly dehydrated, crumble or chop & store in the freezer/fridge until ready to use. This might be simpler.

    To be quite frank a 1/2 onion is worth less than a quarter. I don’t like investing a lot into 1/2 used items. I typically chop left over onions to use on sandwishes, toss in a salad/soup or add them to vegetables I am cooking. Onions are also very healthy and help to boost your immune system, especially during the winter.

    Time is the most precious commodity we have and I hate to waste it.

    Have a great day everyone!

    1. Thank you, Cathie, for the information on dehydrating the onion in the oven. We often freeze onion that we don’t have an immediate use for to pull out and use in soup later on. You are right, the monetary value of that onion wasn’t much, but I am very pleased to have 4 pounds of ground beef browned and cooked with the onion and ready for a quick meal or two or three! Plus I accomplished it with time I was in the kitchen anyway.

  4. Doesn’t preparing a meal require multi-tasking on a certain level anyway? I don’t watch the pot of water on to boil when preparing to cook spaghetti; I use that time to work on the salad or other items required for the meal. And it is absolutely wonderful to have semi-prepared ingredients on hand for nights when a quick meal is required. The alternative would be going out for dinner, which gets expensive! My favorite pastime while cooking is listening to http://www.abidingradio.org (not only while cooking, but while doing computer work, cleaning the house, etc.).

  5. I really enjoy listening to sermons or audiobooks while my children nap and I fold laundry! Folding laundry is a quiet enough task to be able to focus and to hear the audio well . . . and it makes folding laundry a much more pleasant task. 🙂 I don’t have a lot of time to read these days, so audiobooks and recorded sermons have been wonderful!

  6. There is probably something to the information you read about multitasking in theory, but I am not sure I could apply it realistically. I am a paralegal, and I have to multitask well and under pressure, or I would not have a job. When I think of the things that I do at home, most of them are done while I am doing something else. Laundry is spinning and water is running on the flower beds while I am cooking supper; cleanser has been sprayed in the tub and toilets while I am vacuuming, and my pantry gets and stays organized as I am in and out of it daily. I guess the only time I do not have 2-4 things going at once is when I am paying bills and taking care of business because I generally sit down to do them and carve out a bit of time for that specific purpose. I like the idea of cooking off ground beef with onions. I also freeze the ends and center of celery stalks for soups as the leaves is where all of the flavor and nutrition is located. I also freeze leftover spaghetti sauce, chili, and chicken broth as well.

  7. Perhaps we could sing encouraging songs to our children while we are in the kitchen or folding laundry – I know that our kids (and even our pets) feel happy when I am singing during a task. “Speaking to yourselves in Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in your hearts to the Lord”
    🙂 Sometimes I have to pray for it before a song comes to mind as I get so focused on other things.

    Love
    Sarah

    1. I am sure your children love you singing while you work, and they will grow up with a joyful heart that bursts forth in songs while doing other things. What a wonderful way to multitask – praise the Lord in song while working!

  8. As a mother of young children, it’s almost impossible to go through your days and NOT multitask 🙂

  9. Cleaning the bathroom (or organizing the towel closet, medicine cabinet, etc.) while the little girls are in the tub comes to mind. Also, while I’m folding laundry or ironing, whichever child is in 3rd or 4th grade at the time is usually reading aloud to me. This allows me to encourage oral reading fluency with proper pronunciation, intonation, etc. and ask comprehension questions, plus I get to enjoy the company of that child and the story too. I love to multitask in the kitchen too! You’re always an inspiration and encouragement, Terri! Your most recent Mom’s Corner is one of my all-time favorites. 🙂 Thanks for all the time you invest in writing; it’s been a great source of discipleship for me. <3

    1. I like those ways of multitasking, Gwenyth. I remember reading books about homeschooling while my little ones took baths. Cleaning or organizing at bath time is very productive. Then when you are ironing, you are getting some homeschooling done. Thank you for your encouragement on the Mom’s Corner and our other writing.We are grateful for what the Lord has shown us and that He lets me share it with my sisters.

  10. i multitask on many chores for ex. while i saute, boil, chop … i also wash my dishes and utensils or sweep the floor.
    i can cook multiple dishes for different people.
    i used to catered private party from 40-60 people at passover… prepping to keep the food warm, koshering the kitchen & cleaning & organizing the dishes…that was alot of juggling.
    writing my list or snailmail while watching the weather.

    i work outside my home so i definitely must multitask with clients & customers.

    1. i also used to train 500-800 staffs on how to use a program every year. create manuals, maintain the system & remember the codes of things.

      i don’t keep a written recipe or things i need unless its the first time making a recipe… everything is in my mind. i let the washer take care of my clothing & everytime a cycle is in between i either clean the bathroom, bedroom or organize, once is done i fold my husband & my clothing and put away, …. i have to incorporate my freelance business back soon but had to stop due to my love ones was sick. i can’t wait for spring… gardening, ….

  11. One new way I multi task: I have recently learned how to knit, so I sit and knit with my daughter while my husband reads aloud in the evening before bedtime.
    One “old” way I have been multitasking for years: I dislike having to do all the prep for dinner all at once in the early evening. So, if I have 5 minutes here, I’ll chop an onion, or 10 minutes there, I’ll cut up veggies and put in steamer basket in pot, ready to steam. Or if I’m chopping veggies for lunch, I’ll chop enough for salad at dinner, too. I do this multitasking almost every day throughout the day, so by the time it’s time to “prep” dinner, it’s mostly done!

    1. Knitting is another wonderful multitasking skill since it can be multitasked with many things. You will have much to show for your read-aloud multitasking – maybe practical items for your family and gifts for others. Super use of your small pieces of time during the day to think ahead for dinner and get bits of the prep accomplished.

  12. I frequently offer up whatever work I am doing as a prayer for family/friends/special intentions. That makes it easier to pray without ceasing, and plus it gives folding laundry a whole different spin 🙂

    1. That’s a great multitask. It absolutely qualifies and hopefully will give others the idea. It reminded me that I try to balance on one leg for the first half of my teeth brushing and then on the other leg for the second half. When Steve saw a physical therapist last summer, he emphasized the importance of balance as we age and recommended balancing on one leg for at least a minute each day. That works well during teeth brushing too.

  13. Girls tend to be good at multitasking, while guys, well, lets just say they tend to do better focusing on one thing at a time. My mom is the ultimate multitasker. We joke she has 10 hands. She listens to teachings all day while she works. I rarely have a need to multitask, but I do like to talk while doing everything. 🙂

  14. I am encouraged that this post came through when it did, as I was just thinking today- I don’t need to enjoy what I am currently doing (multitasking at times doesn’t seem enjoyable) but need to remember the enjoyment is that I have finished my work! Exodus 23:12 Six days thou shalt do thy work,…
    Being efficient is a key to gettting this accomplished and more specifically- by multitasking!
    Some of the more enjoyable ways I multitask is whenever I get a precious, quiet moment I pray!
    Another is making the bed while having a conversation with a child. Going shopping with a daughter and making it a special mom & me time.

    Will be working on not-so-enjoyable multitasking!!

    1. I agree, Kate, I would often rather not have to multitask but focus fully on just one things. Great multitasking ideas – praying and fellowship with a child when working or running errands.

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