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Wednesday, February 6, 2013


           When I Was in School, They Didn’t Teach Multi-Tasking
Linda Lee Greene 

I hail from the generation right after Farmer John lost his universal influence on the culture and right before the American Girl threw away her bras.  In a way, mine is a lost generation, caught in some uncomfortable cog between the old and the new.  Nurtured by parents firmly planted in the old ways, while drawn to our younger brothers and sisters who were forging new and exciting paths, we were often torn and befuddled.  Despite the push and pull, the strong tentacles of the agrarian concept of how to live life were more firmly dug into our souls, however, and linger to this day.
                Get married; raise a family; stick close to your generational home; share Sunday dinner with grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles and cousins; from birth to death, attend the same house of worship and have the same friends; retire with a gold watch and a good pension from your first and only job; share your home with your widowed sister after your husband passes away:  these were the bricks in the foundation of the life into which I was born and raised.
                Setting aside the drawbacks of such a lifestyle, for the purpose of this essay, I wish to point out a decided advantage of it, and that is the sharing of the work-load, and by extension, the reaping of its benefits, which included the time to do something once in awhile other than work.  There was a clear distinction between who did what and when then:  Dad went off to work and brought home the bacon—mom stayed home and cooked it; dad took care of the outside of the house—mom’s territory was the inside of it; the male youngsters pitched in and helped dad—the females assisted mom.  The school curriculum for boys included shop and for girls, home economics, but nobody, anywhere, ever taught us the art of MULTI-TASKING!  And who ever thought that computers would become the most essential part of the game of life?
                I’ll get right down to it:  life played a dirty trick on us—it changed tempo.  It’s like we started out doing a sensual slow dance and ended up clogging—that’s a highly energetic, mountain-style quick-step/square dance, the whole of it performed at arm’s-length and only if you are young and possess the know-how of having been born into it.  That’s the way it is with multi-tasking—if you aren’t a whole lot younger than I am and weren’t born with keyboards and keypads and all of the rest of life’s technological gimmickry as extensions of your person, and a brain hard-wired to thrive on hyperactivity, it’s daunting.  You’ve guessed by now that multi-tasking is the bane of my existence.  Without it, I’m told I’m dead in the water; with it, I’m miserable.  I’m a focused, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other kind of gal.  I was taught to finish what was on my plate before I could eat dessert; to complete my homework before I could go outside to play, and to clean my room before I could go out on a date.  One thing at a time, and each thing in its time, is the only way I know how to live life.  But life isn’t built my way anymore.  So what have am I doing about it?
                In addition to being a writer, I am an artist and an interior designer, and guess what the Golden Rule of good design is?  It’s “Less is More.”  That means the best artwork leaves a lot of white space on the canvas where the eye can rest.  Likewise, a lot of breathing room among objects in interior spaces of structures is superior to clutter.  Otherwise, all of the busyness will eventually land you in the loony bin.  The same credo applies to writing…and I’ve figured out that it applies to the entire process of writing, including the marketing of written work, at least for me.  Maybe it’s a better way for you, too.
                Are you suggesting that I walk away from the ten thousand sites into which I pour my promo material every day—to clear out my inboxes?  you are asking.  I’m just telling you what I’m doing for me.  My answer to the dilemma boils down to quality rather than quantity.  Do you know what comprises a beautifully designed and desirable room?  The prerequisite is a few well-placed, quality pieces that POP!  I think a better marketing plan for anyone’s written work should follow the same rule.
                If you want to get off the non-stop merry-go-round of present-day online marketing, you’ll have to whittle down your current busy schedule, and it will require some honest analysis of your working status quo, as well as of your own psyche.  I just don’t believe that anybody pays attention to those ten thousand, one-minute promo bites that we send out every day, especially when they are lost among the millions of others that are showing up at the same time in the same inboxes all over the world?  I learned the fallacy, and the folly, of this activity through my own experience.  It boils down to time…who has the time for it?  I don’t, and the result is that the delete buttons on my internet devices get real workouts before anything even gets read, as I imagine yours do, too.   The way I see it is that our best recourse is to manifest the one thing that is authentically you, and authentically me, and to put it out there discriminately.  I believe that the answer is to make what we do POP by being unique and keyed to interested and empathetic audiences who might actually do us some good.
                I also suggest following the directive of Roy Eugene Davis in The Spiritual Basis of Real Prosperity:  “Learn to let the universe satisfy your needs.  The universe is whole; nothing is lacking.  Whatever is needed for your well-being, for desires to be fulfilled or for meaningful purposes to be accomplished, is either already available, can be attracted if necessary, or can be manifested by the universe.”  Dr. Deepak Chopra says it this way in his The Book of Secrets, Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life.  “The glories of creation are in your very cells; you are made of the same mindstuff as the angels, the stars, and God himself.”
We have to put some white spaces in our days, to take the time to turn our eyes to the universe.  And if we do, I’ll just bet that before we know it, in our own extraordinary ways, we’ll shine like the brightest stars.

info - Linda Lee Greene
 Author, Guardians and Other Angels; co-author, Jesus Gandhi Oma Mae Adams; art web site; blog; Amazon Author Page; Twitter @LLGreeneAuthor.   

           Linda will be a guest on A Good Story Is A Good Story on February 15, 1PM EST