Too much sauce
Welcome back to the second volume of Don’t Get Lost In The Sauce! I had some really positive discussions with colleagues and friends about the first volume of this blog series. If you have not read it, I would highly encourage you to go check it out, as it explains the fundamentals on which this blog series is based upon! Now, having said that, let us jump right in.
In a world where there is sometimes too much sauce, not getting lost in it can be very challenging. But let’s talk a little about what that means. Having too much sauce implies that you have a lot of things going on in your life, let’s call them “responsibilities”, I know I know, BOOOORINNNG. But responsibilities are a necessity of our everyday life. It usually is the case where these responsibilities are different from one person to another, but they usually intersect in a lot of ways. But responsibilities should not stop you from doing what you need to do. Or then again, what you WANT to do. So today, I am going to be talking about how to do all that you desire, well kind of. I am just going to give you some tips and tricks on how to direct your focus in the very limited time you might have. Now buckle up, this is about to get intense.
Alright, so, work. We gotta work, right? Well, okay, there are little exceptions where someone does not have to work because they inherited a long lost fortune or something, but don’t be pedantic imaginary alter ego of Sherief, aka Angelo, we are trying to make a point here. Bottom line is, most people have to work. Fun fact: A day has 24 hours. If you are a healthy person, you sleep 8 hours. That leaves us with… 16? Math was never my strong suit. Apart from sleep, the usual time to work is 9–5. That’s another 8 hours of your day, clipped off, just like that. This leaves us with EIGHT HOURS. If we take away the time we consume in cooking and eating, let’s say 2 hours, we are left with a measly six hours.
“So, Sherief, are you just showing off your mad counting skills? Or is there something you want to say?” Angelo, chill, I am getting there. What I’m trying to say is, we only have very limited hours to ourselves. In these six hours, we have to fit in:
- Time with Friends
- Time with a significant other, or going on dates
- Fun activities
- Afternoon naps
- Miscellaneous wasted time
In short, it is impossible to fit all these things in six hours. But that is the point here. The point is, quality. Yes. How? Hold up. Since we can’t do all these things, we do what we can do, but we do it well. You can only exercise today, and don’t have time for socializing? That's okay, but when you go to the gym, don’t try to answer your messages. Leave your phone. Exercise. Focus on what you planned out to focus on. If you end up multitasking two things that cannot be multitasked, you end up doing both tasks poorly. The other way works as well. Have you been out with your friends and then suddenly decide to whip out some weights and do some deadlifts? I hope the answer is no, because not only does that ruin my argument, it’s also quite impressive that you are carrying around that much weight. But you get the point. Do something, do it well, move on to something else.
Prepare the Pasta, Heat the Sauce
So, you probably think tha.. “Sherief you are telling people not to multi-task that’s not good advice!” SHUT UP ANGELO, I am getting there! Okay, now, like I was saying, you probably think that what I said earlier is an invitation for you to stop any multi-tasking you are doing. It really is not.
If you end up multitasking two things that cannot be multitasked, you end up doing both tasks poorly
This was a very important sentence from this last part. If we follow the flow of this article you can see that it goes like:
- Identify things you need to do
- Identify what needs your FULL attention and what does not
- Perfect the art of actually concentrating on finishing a quality task
- Learn the ancient mystic magic of multi-tasking
See, Angelo, I know what I am doing.
When you are able to fully identify what tasks can be done together or what tasks need to be separated, now you can move on to being more efficient. Example time. We already established that exercising and texting your friends is a no-no. Now you know that these are two things you should not do at the same time if you want the best quality of both tasks. But what if you exercise and listen to a podcast you’ve been meaning to listen to? Right?! These are two things you can do at the same time, and get the best out of both activities. POOF! You are now a master of multitasking. But actually tho, before you multi-task, just think about the tasks and see:
- What do I need to do?
- Can they be done together? Like is it actually physically possible? Because you can't say “I want to swim and learn how to knit. I think I am going to do them at the same time!”
- If they can be done together, can you get the maximum value out of them? Is it actually SMART to do both tasks together?
- Yea? Cool beans! Multitask your heart away my friend!
Tell me something, do you keep raw chicken in the same Tupperware as your cooked pasta? I really hope you just said no because otherwise, my next blog will have a very different topic. But, no, you don’t. Why not? Because the raw chicken is going to contaminate your cooked pasta.
Same thing with your tasks. You have to be able to compartmentalize. Example Bonanza!
- Task-Combo A: Watching Netflix, scratching your head
- Task-Combo B: Washing your clothes, putting water in the boiler
- Task-Combo C: Investing in a multi-million dollar portfolio, eating a sandwich
- Task D: Sleeping
Can you tell me if these tasks all have one thing in common? HAHA, I knew you wouldn’t be able to, gottem! But actually, contrary to what you might think, they do have something in common. That thing is:
For the love of whatever you hold dearest, when you do something, focus on the thing you are doing.
If you do Task-Combo A, focus on A. If you do Task-Combo D, focus on that and nothing else. “Focus on sleeping, Sherief?” YES, ANGELO! You spend your entire day doing one thing or another, you deserve to rest. Do nothing but rest. So yea, compartmentalize the silliest of things like sleeping and watching Netflix. Because when you have to focus on more important or intense things like Task-Combo C, you have the energy to focus on that too!
The Perfect Recipe
So, in order to make sure you read this carefully, I have made a detailed 150 MCQ quiz that needs to be submitted within one hour, the timer started when you started reading.
Just kidding, take it easy. But, let’s do a quick recap:
- Too Much Sauce: Life gets overwhelming, and that’s fine because there are ways to deal with everything
- Quality Leftovers: Notice how much time you have, notice what exactly you need to do, and get the most out of everything you do, through a knowledgable understanding of the tasks at hand.
- Prepare the Pasta, Heat the Sauce: After knowing what you have to do, and how to do it, let’s take this efficient way of understanding your tasks, and putting it inside an efficient way of doing several at the same time.
- High-Grade Tupperware: After getting a great system working on knowing WHAT your tasks are, HOW to do them efficiently, we now focus on WHEN you are doing each task or a group of tasks, by compartmentalizing all other tasks. Clear up your mental headspace from things that you do not need to be thinking about.
See? Does it all come together? Am I still rambling not saying anything valuable? Well, that’s still fine. Like I said, this is a place where I blurt off random nonsense and maybe you can get some wisdom from it. This is my way to not get lost in the sauce!
I hope you all enjoyed this, and I promise, this series will be more frequent than it has been. Have a good one, and see you soon in Vol III!