On occasion, I have been asked how I get anything done, because it seems I’m doing everything all at once. Well, I am doing everything all at once, but it’s really all about what a person gets used to. It’s also about how a person’s mind works.
My mind has always been way too busy for its own good. Many of my teachers in school allowed me to doodle as I took notes, because the only way I could fully focus on the work at hand was to allow my mind to drift in other matters. I know that seems counterintuitive, but it worked for me, and I soaked knowledge up like a sponge. The same concept applied to reading for me. I have to be reading more than one book at a time, and I have to read each page at least twice, because the first time is a kind of overall imprint, and the second review is more of an in-depth absorption. I read by paragraph, not by sentence.
I think faster than I can write, even with typing, so I often skip words, which can be frustrating.
When I began working in Quality Assurance at BMG, we were all allowed to do as we pleased whilst auditioning new releases, just as long as we could remain focused on identifying sound and technical issues with the recordings. I got into the habit of writing and working on art while I listened. It took the pressure of having to listen to shite. When we began testing video games and upgraded to computers, my focus had to change. I could audition new releases while testing new games. I was also tasked to teach myself the computer, then give instruction to my boss and coworkers, so I would often find myself listening to an album, playing a game, and learning the PC by trial and error, all at the same time. It was never an issue for me. I adored it.
After BMG decided it no longer cared about the quality of its products and I ended up in the Pit (Special Orders Services/Point of Purchase promotions), my need to multi-task came in extremely handy, garnering me a lot of praise from a lot of labels, and some really nice raises. There were days I would be working on a dozen different promotions projects, and still be writing on my own stuff. When we got plugged into the Internet at work, I was introduced to LJ and created the Cliffs of Insanity to help me deal with the madness of working in the music business. Even though the coping mechanism only partially worked, as is evidenced in my obvious madness even today, it further developed my multi-tasking skills, allowing me to be able to listen to music, talk on the phone, communicate via email, process orders, organise promotions, bitch in my journal, and write on my fiction simultaneously. The more I did, the more I could do, and the more I needed to do.
I never had any capacity for patience, though, and what little patience I had, began to deteriorate. I am now pretty much devoid of any patience, but the mind is still on overdrive, and I often find myself incapable of doing just one thing. I feel incomplete and lazy. I feel disconnected, not only from the world as I perceive it, but also from myself. I also need some distraction in order to keep Cadmus in his Tulpa form at bay. If it weren’t for multi-tasking, Cadmus would have driven me the rest of the way mad as a hatter long ago.
I know a lot of people find multi-tasking to be a pain in the arse but, for me, it is a blessing for a mind that will sleep when it’s dead.