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The Art of Slow Motion Multi-Tasking

If you were to ask my mom, my sisters, or even one of our children, they might tell you that they suspect that John and I are hoarders. Eww, right? But don’t worry, we aren’t the people you see on those Netflix specials that make you gag just a little every time you see inside their homes!

Before you believe anything my family may say about our hoarding tendencies, just let me explain! John and I aren’t really hoarders – we are just slow motion multi-taskers.

The idea of slow motion multi-tasking was introduced by Ted Hartford in his TED Talk, A powerful way to unleash your natural creativity. Hartford explains that creativity is actually increased in people who move from creative project to creative project as their mood or situation changes. It is, in effect, the cross-training of your brain. Both Darwin and Einstein were slow motion multi-taskers, with Darwin taking 44 years (!) to write one of his last great works – “Formation of Vegetable Mould Through The Action of Worms” (although I’m guessing it wasn’t on the best sellers list!)

Although we are clearly not in the same league as Darwin or Einstein, and it is much less than 44 years between the completion of any of our projects, both John and I have always had the tendency to jump from project to project and back again.  Myself, even more so, going from painting to learning to needle felt, to wreath making, then sign making, to baking and decorating cakes and then back to painting again. Little did I know until watching Hartford’s TED talk that all that jumping around was actually beneficial to the whole process.

So, from now on we would like you to please refrain from judging John and I as hoarders and refer to any messes you may happen to see in our basement or garage as “brain cross-training stations”. That old door is meant to be a coat rack. The pile of live edge wood is just waiting to be made into tables. The dresser drawers stacked against the wall? Dog beds in the making!


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