Handling Multitasking Overload

   If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.  Chinese Proverb

Personal experience counts and when it became time in the spring of 2014 to get my home ready to sell, I decided to focus on the downsizing process after 37 years. We had just finished the “Memory Matters”  for ALL Ages cable TV program on YouTube with its corresponding blogs. Understanding the research on multitasking and realizing the impossibility of being totally effective with all that was on my plate, I needed a plan.

What did I learn through the process? Even though I felt that I was an organized person, this really put all of those capabilities to the test. Despite sorting the work related boxes and files and moving the less needed items to a storage unit months before, surprises happened. It was a good one in that the house sold in less than a week and I had to move out in a month. Nothing had prepared me for the last minute chaos of getting everything out in time while downsizing more than 50% by choice.

Once accomplished, the feeling of having less is pretty amazing although the process was challenging. A few minor things fell through the cracks but surprisingly, four months later, I am up and running again with a new appreciation of cognitive overload and its impact on a person’s stress level and recall. Some of the process was so chaotic that parts of those last few days prior to moving were somewhat of a blur but it all worked out and I am glad that it is behind me.

Your life certainly can have similar things occur, some of which are planned and others that are not. It requires taking some time out to step away from your automatic pilot and the craziness to make a plan.  Awareness is the key so that means looking at your schedule and obligations and prioritizing what you need as well as what you want to do. A lot of unexpected things are likely to arise and will need to be addressed. Stress is not a friend to memory so a plan to manage that aspect is essential to maximizing your functioning under those circumstances.

While discontinuing the blog for a period of time was not something I wanted to do, I felt I needed to follow the advice I give others. So the blog was put on hold, I did not schedule any new speeches until 2 months after the move or any trips out of town. Simplifying the other parts of my life was really helpful.  It worked and in 6 weeks the 2 car garage was sorted, the storage unit emptied and my car was in the garage before the first snowflakes fell!

Memory Fitness Matters has returned and blogs will continue a few times a month as specific topics of interest come to my attention. In the meantime, if you are new to these blogs, here are some links from prior ones and some new resources for brain fitness.

Memory Fitness Blogs since January 2012  - memory basics, strategies, brain aerobics, memory and aging, 7 day memory fitness program and more…
“Memory Matters “ for ALL Ages – 8 month cable TV programs (on YouTube) with blogs on multitasking, memory changes with normal aging and beyond, dementia, brain fitness, caregiver support.
Memory Fitness Products with new brain teasers available on flash drive very soon!
Blogs on eldercare concerns including dementia, caregiver stress and its impact on memory.

About Kathryn Kilpatrick

Kathryn Kilpatrick received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1968 from the University of Massachusetts. She has worked in a variety of settings, primarily in Ohio, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and for decades in the area of home health care. Kathryn is president of Memory Fitness Matters (www.memoryfitnessmatters.com) and Communication Connection(www.connectionsincommunication.com). She offers memory coaching for all ages and has a geriatric consulting practice. She is a national motivational speaker and author of more than 30 products to enhance communication and connection as well as a Memory Fitness Toolkit. Kathryn brings her decades of experience as a speech-language pathologist to all those wanting to enhance their quality of life, particularly when there are communication, memory and cognitive challenges. Her websites offer information on a wide variety of topics related to elder care concerns as well as memory fitness and successful aging.
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