Wait! One Thing at a Time…

Today is Sunday August 23rd.  I woke up at 8am, took a shower, and headed into the kitchen.  what happened next is somewhat of a blur.. I’ll do my best to provide a play-by-play.

  1. Started Espresso Maker (added water and coffee)
  2. Caught a glimpse of the pinto beans I left to soak over night and added the rest of the water to complete the soak.
  3. Heard the Espresso machine bubbling and realized I hadn’t put a coffee cup under to catch the coffee!
  4. Realized I needed Milk to steam and a cup to steam it in…
  5. Drained the rest of the Milk from 1/2 gallon into my cup and set it aside.
  6. Filled the carton up with water to rinse for recycling and set aside.
  7. Espresso is draining now, and I need to get the milk frothed…
  8. 1/2 way through milk frothing, I realized I needed sugar.. stop espresso maker and add sugar.
  9. turn espresso maker back on and finish the coffee.
  10. Taste coffee and Set aside to prepare chicken for marinade.
  11. Grab a gladware for marinade.  Set aside and grab chicken from original gladware  and begin to drain water. realize I have a gladware and put the second one back in storage.
  12. Grab Jerk Seasoning and olive oil to prepare Chicken.
  13. See Beans sitting in soak and grab a strainer to drain.
  14. Spoon out Jerk Seasoning, apply to chicken, and rinse hands in Sink (avoiding Beans)
  15. Grabbed some Green Chiles from the freezer and started soak to thaw.
  16. Finished preparing the beans and added to crockpot.
  17. Noticed coffee drink on the counter and took a second sip (now tepid)
  18. Saw the milk carton (still full with water from #5), drained it, and put it in the recycle bin.

A few minutes later, I remembered that I have a copy of Sunday’s Paper waiting for me outside so I grabbed the paper and threw it into the middle of the floor.. 2 hours later, I grabbed the paper and began to read.. something about the Democratic Convention, Travel, and on to the coupons… Clipped 3 coupons, and noticed my mirrors were dirty. I grabbed a piece of newspaper I hadn’t read, gave it a quick review and ran to the kitchen for some windex.  While I was in the kitchen I remembered I wanted to sharpen my kitchen knives so I grabbed those and threw them in the middle of the floor for later.  Running back with the windex it hit me:

What ever happened to one thing at at time? (OTAAT)

I know better than this. What’s going on here? I’m stuttering about the house with no clear priority, no definition, and no real care to complete anything. This multi-multi-multi-tasking has got to stop! life’s too short.. too short.  As I sprayed the windex and destroyed the newspaper on the mirror, I thought.. I’ve got to write about this.

So, here I am on the edge of my bed struggling to get this out before it’s lost in the ADD Ether. 

Is there a cure?  Yes. I believe so.

  1. Notice – Become aware of the compulsion to branch off, skip around, or stutter step.
  2. Acknowledge & Recommit – It doesn’t have to be this way.. I’m going to do something about it.
  3. Redirect with statements like:
    1. Easy there, One Thing at a Time
    2. When this is finished, I’ll start the other thing
    3. Wait! am I finished with this yet?

The frustration caused by simply acknowledging the ‘branching’ ‘skipping’ and ‘stuttering’ can be a great motivator.  The act of redirection actually fortifies the will, and increases the likelihood that the original task will be completed.

Note: While writing this post (for the last 15 minutes) I’ve resisted the urge to dispose of the finished newspaper, text message (twitter), check my email, and finish cleaning the mirrors.  I’ve also redirected the following thoughts:

  1. For coupons, which store will I visit first? linnen’s n’ things, cvs, or walgreens?
  2. How long does it take for neurofeedback to really work?
  3. hmm.. Behavior Modificaiton interesting.
  4. Stuttering as a kid, whether or not ADD is an expression of this malady.

I did stop for a minute to research stuttering and found that Identical twins (like me) were much more susceptible than fraternal twins (fascinating!). (this one got my attention but it does contribute to the post..)

Time to go sharpen knives!


  1. Rob

    you might be onto something, but i started reading the article, then i got a text msg, then I needed to refill my water bottle and answer a phone call, and that reminded me to send an email to someone then update a project status…….so I’ll come back to it later to get the full message. 🙂

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