Readers of this blog will probably be familiar with the argument that writing stuff on paper (as opposed to on a keyboard or phone) has cognitive benefits.
My distractible mommy brain is an even starker illustration of the point — I can’t hold three things in my brain for longer than three seconds, and probably only one. (And yes, that’s one thing and one second, if I’m honest.) Last Friday, I left work early to meet a cousin in the city. I knew I had an hour to kill before I needed to leave, and since I have the luxury of working from home, my home office is around the corner from any number of urgent practical tasks.
Once I’d thrown a load of laundry in the wash, however, I found myself moving distractedly from one end of the house to the other, starting one thing that would bring me to a different room, and then noticing something there that needed my attention, too. It wasn’t until I wrote out a list of everything I could think to try to accomplish that I was able to sort things out, prioritize, and start working more effectively.
There’s always more to do, but at least I was able to avoid the ineffectual headless chicken runaround…